Indiana couple accused of abandoning adopted daughter says that she was actually an adult with dwarfism

Indiana couple accused of abandoning adopted daughter says that she was actually an adult with dwarfism


In the horror movie, Orphan, a nice family adopts a 9 year-old girl who turned out to be a murderous 33 year-old. The very young looking woman pretended to an innocent child in order to get close to the family, specifically the father. While this is just a movie, apparently it can actually happen, as a couple from Indiana recently found out.


Back in 2010, Kristine and Michael Barnett made the decision to adopt a Urkrainian 6 year old named Natalia Grace. They believed they were saving a child, though they had adopted her under “shadowy circumstances” and were too polite to ask her questions. The “child” turned out to be a full grown adult with dwarfism.


Natalia also has extreme psychiatric problems. According to Kristine, “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 backyard’ and ‘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 am trying to poison you.’” Also according to Kristine, Natalia pushed her into an electric fence and even attacked a baby. These are not normal things for a child to do.

Kristene began having doubts about Natalia’s true age when she noticed that she never grew an inch, had periods, and had all her adult teeth. Eventually she got her a bone density test, which suggested she was at least 14 years old. Instead of abandoning her then and there, Kristen decided to treat her like a teenager, and get her help. She sent her to a psychiatric facility, where the girl allegedly confessed to being much older, and even said she wanted to kill her family. 

Still, they stayed with her to try and help. The Barnetts then rented an apartment for Natialia and helped her earn her highschool diploma and enroll in a school for cosmetology. Kristen said, “I was optimistic, she had a concrete plan for her life. She had food stamps. She had social security income for the rest of her things. She had demonstrated she was able to live.”

It was recently revealed that Natalia herself told the police in 2014 that she had been abandoned by the Barnetts. They were charged with neglect, which they argue isn’t possible because she was an adult all along. The affidavit that revealed that Natalia was the accuser also said that, “when an officer spoke with Michael on September 5 he admitted he knew all along that Natalia was a minor child when she was allegedly abandoned, and that “Michael Barnett admitted Kristen Barnett told Natalia to tell others Natalia looks young but was actually 22.” They abandoned her inLafayette in 2013 when they moved to Canada, and were accused of changing the girl’s age from 8 to 22.