A Ukrainian ‘orphan’ allegedly scammed her parents into believing she was a 6-year-old when in reality she was a 23-year-old at the time of her adoption, according to a new report.
Natalia Grace Barnett, a little person from Ukraine, seemingly tricked her adoptive parents into believing she was actually much younger, Insider reported. Natalie has a rare bone-growth disorder and her parents claim she used this as a way to scam them into adopting her, according to the outlet.
Michael and Kristine Barnett adopted Natalie in 2010 and brought her back to their home in Indianapolis, Indiana. This topsy-turvy happening was documented in the new docuseries “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace” on Investigation Discovery. In the series, the filmmaker attempted to unpack everything that happened in 2010 up until the present. In this almost-unbelievable account, Michael Barnett defends himself and his actions, while the truth lingers just out of reach, Insider reported.
TONIGHT at 9/8c the 3-night event “The Curious Case Of Natalia Grace” BEGINS on ID pic.twitter.com/rYLcw6nbrY
— Investigation Discovery (@DiscoveryID) May 29, 2023
In 2010 the Barnetts were given 24 hours to adopt Natalie from an adoption agency located in Florida. The agency claimed if Natalie was not adopted within 24 hours, she would go straight to foster care. With time not an option, and the Barnetts wanting to do something good, they were pressured into adopting Natalie, Insider reported.
“We adopted Natalia because we wanted to help somebody who was in danger of never being loved,” Barnett said. Her Ukrainian birth certificate said she was born on September 4, 2003, according to the outlet.
Natalie has spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, a rare kind of dwarfism that made her grow just over 3 feet tall. The Barnetts were surprised to learn that Natalie had pubic hair and experienced regular, monthly periods. Time went on and the Barnetts began noticing Natalie’s bizarre behavior. She would smear her own feces on the inside of the car window and apparently threatened to stab her older brother, according to Daily Mail.
Her behavior was so concerning that the Barnetts sent Natalie to a mental institute where she was diagnosed as a “sociopath.” She was released after making “inappropriate” sexual remarks toward male patients.
Later, her parents successfully petitioned a court to change Natalie’s birth records. It was determined Natalie was actually 23, born on September 4, 1989, Insider reported. (RELATED: Psychotherapist Stella O’Malley Says Trans Mental Health ‘Does Not Seem To Be Improved’ By Sex Changes)
The Barnetts moved Natalie into an apartment and paid her rent. After the Barnetts went through a nasty divorce, both parents moved to Canada, leaving Natalie in Lafayette, Indiana. Police accused the Barnetts of abandoning Natalie, claiming that leaving her there was related to neglect, according to WTHR.
Even though a court determined that she was in fact older than she said she was, Natalie still claims she was born in 2003.