Natalia Grace Con Artist or Orphaned Child?
Back in 2010, Michael and Kristine Barnett adopted a Ukrainian orphan that they were told was a 6-year-old girl. They already had two boys, and they thought the orphan, who suffered from a form of dwarfism, was a good fit for their family. According to the orphan, who is named Natalia Grace, she thought the family was a good fit for her too.
PEOPLE reports that three years later, in 2013, the Barnetts moved to Canada with their sons, but they didn’t bring Natalia with them. Instead, they got her an apartment in their home state of Indiana and cut off all contact with her.
When it was discovered that the Barnetts had abandoned a child, one of their dependents, the police got involved. Kristine and Michael were under investigation for five years, but ultimately, the charges against Kristine were dropped, and Michael was found not guilty.
There’s more to the story. Kristine and Michael claim that shortly after adopting Natalia they became suspicious that she wasn’t a child at all. They believed that she was actually an adult woman pretending to be a child. Even more seriously, they believed that Natalia was trying to kill them.
The Barnetts had Natalia’s legal birthdate changed in 2012. Her original birthdate was 2003, but the Barnetts changed it to 1989. That made her 22 years old at the time she was left on her own in Indiana. The Barnetts claim they believe she may have been even older than 22.
Natalia claims that she really was a child, and she also claims that she didn’t try to kill the Barnetts.
Natalia wasn’t on her own for long. Shortly after the Barnetts set her up with an apartment, she met Cynthia Mans, who invited Natalia to live with her family. The Mans tried to get legal custody of Natalia, but because her new legal birthdate made her an adult, they were unable to do so. Regardless, that didn’t stop the Mans from letting Natalia live with them and become part of their family.
Both Natalia and the Barnetts have recently spoken out about the strange situation. The Barnetts shared their side of the story in a miniseries called “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace,” and Natalia shared her side of the story in a miniseries called “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks.”
Watch the video below to learn more about “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace.”