Kristine Barnett, 45, and ex-husband Michael Barnett, 43, have been charged with abandoning their 9-year-old adopted daughter in Lafayette, Indiana, and moving to Canada. In an interview with DailyMail TV, Kristine claims she and her husband were victims of fraud, alleging the girl was a 22-year-old who tried to kill her.
The couple say they agreed to the emergency adoption of Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace in May 2010 and were told she was six. Kristine claims that in the year after adopting her, the girl pushed her onto an electric fence, poured bleach in her coffee and threatened to stab the couple in their sleep.
According to the Barnetts, the girl was eventually treated by mental health specialists who decided she was an adult and should have her birth certificate changed. They say that in 2012, Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis decreed the girl was born in 1989, however, a September 11 affidavit of probable cause states that 2010 bone density tests on the girl concluded she was an eight-year-old at the time. It also states that Natalia told police in 2014 that she had been 'left alone' when her adoptive parents moved to Canada, with officers concluding she was a 'reliable and credible' witness.
Esteemed Parenting Author Kristine Barnett Claims Her Adopted Teen Daughter Is Actually a Disturbed Adult https://t.co/AqvFqEb4re— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) September 24, 2019
Interestingly, the Barnetts version of events mirrors the plot of the 2009 film Orphan, in which a young adopted girl tries to murder her family before it's revealed that she is actually 33. The couple have been accused of leaving Natalia Grace at an apartment in Lafayette before moving to Canada a month later. Police say the girl, who suffers from a rare form of dwarfism, was left on her own for three years.
After surrendering to authorities, the couple was released after posting a $5,500 bond each. They insist, however, that they are innocent. “The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here,” Kristine said. “Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism. She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing.”
Despite being told that Natalia couldn’t walk as a result of her condition, Kristine claims that on a trip to the beach she ran into the water. Soon after, she claims that she would find bloody clothing in the trash suggesting the girl was menstruating. In 2012, Natalia was placed in a psychiatric unit after allegedly trying to drag Kristine onto an electric fence during a 2012 birthday outing.
In an interview with Daily Mail, Kristine Barnett says the adoption was a “scam,” and the girl is actually an adult who has made a career out of fooling people into thinking she’s a young girl. https://t.co/bNIRCRlntD— WPMT FOX43 (@fox43) September 24, 2019
That June, the Barnetts applied to Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis, Indiana to have Natalia's age 'corrected' so she could receive psychiatric treatment as an adult. Judge Gerald S. Zore accepted that the couple's allegations were 'true' and changed Natalia's date of birth to September 4, 1989, altering her age from eight to 22. Prior to leaving for Canada, the couple rented an apartment for Natalia and helped her get a social security number, apply for benefits, food stamps and an ID.
Michael Barnett, who divorced Kristine in 2014, remarried and settled back in Indiana, says he last saw Natalia at Tippecanoe Circuit Court in 2016, when a couple named Antwon and Cynthia Mans applied to become the girl's guardians and restored her original birth date. The Mans’ eventually dropped the guardianship petition.
It remains to be seen how the case will play out but BabyGaga will keep you posted.