Parents Arrested For Abandonment Of Adopted 9-Year Old – Who Turns Out To Be 22

  • I have no humorous quips for this. It's just terrifying.
Photo by Paloma A. on Unsplash
Photo by Paloma A. on Unsplash


Can you imagine adopting a beautiful little girl, about 9, only to find out she was really an adult? Most would probably go “how can you fall for that?” Well here is how…

“Unsuspecting Couple Adopts Beautiful Nine-Year-Old Girl

On September 23rd, Daily Mail posted about an “unsuspecting Christian couple” adopting a nine-year-old girl, only to find out the truth after it was too late. Micheal and Kristine Barnett adopted the “adorable little girl” in Indiana, but come to find out, she was Natalia Grace, 22-year-old “sociopath masquerading as a child.”

What Happened?

“From day one this was a mission of love. But when you bring a child into your home, you expect them to be a child. To be accused of this is unconscionable 7to me. It’s just horrifying.” They adopted 8/Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace in Lafayette, Indiana back in 2013, before moving to Canada. Police say that she was left to fend for herself for three years despite having a rare form of dwarfism, which means she is three feet tall and has trouble walking. However, Kristine told Daily Mail, in an exclusive interview, that Natalia was not a nine-year-old, in fact, she was 22.

“The Movie ‘Orphan’ Really Happened!”

Kristine claims that the true victims were her and her family. That they were terrorized for years by the “adorable little girl” who threatened to stab them in their sleep, tried to push Kristine into an electric fence and poured bleach in her coffee! “She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the back yard,” she said.

What Does She Say To Support This?

“She was standing over people in the middle of the night. You couldn’t go to sleep. We had to hide all the sharp objects. I saw her putting chemicals, bleach, Windex something like that, in my coffee and I asked her what are you doing? She said ‘I’m trying to poison you.’ The media is painting me as a child abuser, but there is no child here.”

“Natalia was a woman. She had periods,  adult teeth, and she never grew a single inch. Which would happen even with a child with dwarfism. The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults. She was jumping out of moving cars, smearing blood on mirrors, doing things you could never imagine a child doing.”

The Barnetts Are Parents To Four Children (Including Natalia)

Kristine had no hesitation in accepting Natalia even after learning she had a bone growth disorder named spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia, which causes short stature, skeletal abnormalities, and problems with vision.

“I always wanted to have a larger family and I had very severe complications in my pregnancies and was unable to have more children.” Barnett explained, “I also at that time had a very privileged life. I felt that if I had the ability to help another person in the world then I wanted to do it.”

The Adoption

Given 24 hours to complete an emergency adoption, the couple raced to Florida to sign the paperwork and meet their ‘six-year-old’ daughter. They gleaned precious few details of her background: Natalia had been in the US for two years, had a Ukrainian birth certificate reading September 4, 2003, and needed a home immediately because her previous adoptive parents suddenly gave her up, for undisclosed reasons. “Out of compassion for their situation I didn’t want to press them for information on what had gone wrong,” Kristine said.

Natalia Was Treated Well By The Barnetts

“Natalia was extremely nervous. You could see she was going to need a lot of support and care. We did notice immediately in the parking lot that she couldn’t walk. There was nothing about it in the paperwork.” Over the next few days, the couple showered Natalia with attention, bringing her slowly out of her shell. When they took Natalia beach, they were very alarmed. “The boys rushed into the water and Natalia wanted to be carried into the ocean. Michael and myself were physically exhausted so we asked her to wait just a few minutes,” Kristine said.

“With that, she just got up and ran into the ocean. I remember looking at Mike and thinking, what’s going on? She couldn’t walk a second ago and now she just got up and ran.”

The Beach Was Just The First Sign…

“I was giving her a bath and I noticed that she had full pubic hair. I was so shocked,” Kristine said “I had just been told she was a six-year-old and it was very apparent she wasn’t.”  There were more clues: Natalia shunned dolls and toys, sought the company of teenage girls and appeared to use sophisticated vocabulary way beyond someone her supposed age. When a family friend talked to Natalia in her native language, Natalia couldn’t understand her. Natalia didn’t have a foreign accent, and couldn’t describe her homeland.

When The Truth Came Out…

Kristine sought out the help of her family physician who ordered bone density tests to help establish Natalia’s age. When the results suggested she was indeed at least 14 or older, Kristine says she switched the princess outfits and pink dresses for more appropriate clothes. But as questions swirled around her age, Natalia’s behavior begun to deteriorate.

…She Started Her Attacks

Kristine recalls watching aghast on a baby monitor as Natalia attacked a baby boy when Kristine left the room. They started attending therapy together, but Natalia scoffed at what she described as “childish bonding exercises.” Kristine said that by 2011 Natalia was smearing bodily fluid on the walls, making death threats and hearing voices as her mental health broke down. During treatment, Kristine swears that Natalia confessed to being far older than she appeared. In 2012, a clinical therapist said that Natalia claimed that she was 18.

Kristine Claims She Didn’t Abandon Anyone

“I said I’ve been taking care of you here as an adult, I will do one more year of financial aid, the exact same thing I am doing for all of my children.”

Kristine went on to say, “I co-signed the lease and paid for the rent upfront for a year. I did everything you would do when you send your child off to college, I helped her with groceries and bought furniture at Target for her. I was optimistic, she had a concrete plan for her life. She had food stamps (and) social security income for the rest of her things. She had demonstrated she was able to live. I did not abandon anyone. I went to Canada to further my son’s education. These accusations are absolutely devastating.”

The Barnetts said in court that they were certain that she was 22. “We have been cooperative the whole time. I have been truthful with people the whole time,. Kristine was asked about the investigation. “I am being charged by the state of Indiana for crimes against a child when the state of Indiana has determined multiple times that Natalia was an adult.”

Kristine And Her Ex-Husband Have Been Arrested

Kristine surrendered to the authorities on September 19th and was released after posting a 5,500 dollar bond. Her ex-husband Micheal surrendered on September 18th. He was released immediately after having his mugshot taken and having a 5,000 dollar bail posted.

Still can’t believe they fell for it? Look at the picture for yourself and see more information at the Daily Mail.

Want to tell your strange story? Tell us about it and it could be featured on Oddee. You can remain fully anonymous.