Dad who claims he adopted violent adult ‘masquerading’ as 6-year-old breaks down over ‘abuse’

Family thought they adopted 6-year-old girl from Ukraine but soon questioned if she was actually adult

By Emma Colton | Fox News – May 9, 2023 – Fox News

family in Indiana that adopted a young girl from Ukraine but later alleged she was an “adult masquerading as a child with intent to harm their family” are speaking out about the ordeal 13 years later.

“We were all abused,” father Michael Barnett screams in the trailer for an upcoming documentary on Investigation Discovery. “I hate this.”

Michael Barnett and his then-wife, Kristine Barnett, adopted in April 2010 someone whom they believed to be a 6-year-old girl named Natalia, who suffers from a rare form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita. But the family soon questioned her age after dealing with allegedly violent behavior.

“She tried to poison and kill my wife,” Michael Barnett said in the trailer for the documentary, “The Curious Case Of Natalia Grace.” “One night, I opened my eyes and Natalia is standing at the foot of the bed with a knife in her hand.”

Archival photo of Natalia Barnett, who is accused of pretending to be a young girl at the time of her adoption but was an adult. (Courtesy Investigation Discovery

In 2012, the parents petitioned a court to legally change Natalia’s birth year from 2003 to 1989, which was granted and changed her age from 8 years old to 22. The family then moved to Canada with their biological children, where their oldest son was slated to start college.

The parents of the alleged girl landed in hot water in 2013 when it was discovered Natalia was living alone in an apartment in ​​Lafayette, Indiana, leading to an investigation and their arrests. In 2019, the couple, who have since divorced, were charged with neglect of a dependent.

Michael and Kristine Barnett adopted a young girl from Ukraine but soon questioned her real age after a series of alleged violent outbursts. (Courtesy Investigation Discovery)

“The media is painting me to be a child abuser, but there is no child here,” Kristine Barnett told the Daily Mail in 2019.

“Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth,” she added in the interview. “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.”

Michael Barnett was ultimately found not guilty by a jury in 2022, and Kristine Barnett had all of her charges dismissed in March of this year. Both parents had previously spoken out that the charges were bogus, citing Natalia was an adult and not a neglected child.

The three-part series will reportedly feature “bombshell interviews with members of Natalia’s adoptive family,” such as Michael Barnett and his son, Jacob Barnett, as well as legal experts, friends and neighbors.

Readers’ comments


My cousin adopted a kid from Bulgaria. She went over there a few times to meet her, and even brought a colleague who was a Hopkins Psychology professor to meet her and try and gauge her mental health. All seemed fine. The child was brought here. Not too long after she was being physically threatening. She eventually got moved to some “facility” in Western Maryland. She still tried to maintain some sort of relationship with the girl and would send her stuff, but the girl just spewed hatred. In the end, she really has little contact with her. When the girl turned 18 she got knocked up pretty fast. Be careful of international adoptions. Stealing the words of Trump “They do not send us their best!”

I’m still trying to get past how an American could possibly get scammed for money and resources by someone from Ukraine! 😉

So if they allowed them to change her birthdate to make he 22, how on earth were they charged with anything? This should have never gone to court. I’m a huge supporter of our laws and those that enforce them, but no one stepped in to stop the prosecution of these poor people?

So after ruining this family and the parents marriage they are found not guilty. Yeah, that’s our govt “protecting” us alright.

There was a movie, (I think it was Lifetime) that was exactly the same story. May have been based on this couple with exactly the same. It was horrible what she did to this family. I understand this situation. I had a roommate in college with the same condition. She was 18 yo but she looked about 9 or 10 years old.

No. It was called “Orphan”. It was a horror movie, not a lifetime movie

I’d like to have kids one day. I don’t think I could stand them any longer than that, though.

Any thoughts of kids I would go visit one my sisters for a couple of hours. Problem solved.

The amazing thing is that it took a jury to prevent prosecutors from perpetrating a horrible injustice that no honest person would ever even consider inflicting.

Where do we get these people – and why can’t we sue them?

My wife and I adopted a 22 month old from Russia in 1997. She had CP that required multiple surgeries to correct. She did not walk or talk when we got her. However with “lots of love and macaroni & Cheese” today she is a healthy functionary adult. It took her 2-3 years to catch up with her peers but she did. Today she is a successful video editor working for a major network. Not all International adoptions end in negative outcomes. I agree parents need to know more about the family history, because DNA does effect outcomes. We only learned about our daughters challenges late in the adoption process but we should have seen some of the Red Flags early, but we were committed to our daughter and could not turn back. We had a more challenging upbringing with her but would never regretted our decision. Advise to those thinking about International Adoption is ask questions and have all medical records reviewed in advance.

So what’s the problem? If she “identified” as a child, shouldn’t we all treat her as such? 🙄

Biden does

Then we have the curious case of AOC; a child masquerading as an adult.

Oh, is that why AOC constantly makes her eyes appear as big as plates, when she talks on Tik Tok videos, and other public videos? Also why she fake dances, when she talks; jumping up and down, when within a few inches of the camera? I couldn’t figure her behavior out, until you said she’s a masquerading child. I know she’s extremely attention seeking though. Now it makes more sense. Thanks. What a strange creature.

According to Democrats, you can be anything you want to be. If she wanted to be 6 years old then she had every right to be 6 and not 22. She could be a 6 year old, beer drinking, bar fighting, truck driver if she wanted. Who are we to judge? Right, Dems?

Slightly better experience than the Kaepernick family adopting Colin.

We have Brandon identifying as the president so there’s that…

My wife and I adopted 2 brothers from CPS here in the USA. That was over 20 years ago. Both are now married with their own kids. Both were a blast to raise. No regrets. International adoptions are super risky and expensive. There are plenty of kids here needing families and have highly traceable backgrounds.

Ukraine is the most corrupt country in the world. Read up about them. You think Putin is bad? Zelensky banned opposition political parties (including his primary opponent), shut down and banned all non state-run media, banned the largest church in the country for ‘disloyalty’, and has arrested thousands for criticizing his policies publicly. Any male who attempts to flee the country is arrested at the border, and even some of those who left Ukraine before the war are being targeted. Funny how the media doesn’t do stories on this, though.

Natalia changed her name to Joy Behar and now you know the rest of the story

America suffers from the similar issue. We were forced to adopt a child masquerading as an adult and now it occupies the White House Nursing Home. It’s trying to kill America.

I rear-ended a car this morning …When the driver got out of his car, I realized he was a dwarf.

He looked up at me and said, “I am not HAPPY! “So I said, “Well, which one are you then?”

Baby Finster (for you Bugs Bunny fans)?

I do – “I want an Easter Egg. I want an Easter Egg.”

So you’re saying all I have to do is say I’m 6 and my little league career can start over?

…Chuckie’s sister would later run for Congress under the alias “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”

How could this legal battle drag on for 10 years??? No wonder the marriage fell apart.

Lots of that going on at the southern border now, to take advantage of our policies regrading unaccompanied ‘children’ and ‘families’ not being detained.

If anyone wants to adopt a small child, they should just send a small contribution to Joe. They have plenty coming over the border. Joe will even sniff it first to make sure it’s a ripe one.

Sounds like another one of Hunter Biden’s Ukraine deals.


This disorder is almost as rare as a straight man that drinks bud light.

Biden heard of this story and immediately placed an order to adopt her.

The picture of the girl above is down right scary looking. First thing that popped in my mind was the movie “The Exorcist”. Look at her eyes and tell me there’s not evil in there.

I saw the phrase in the headline, “violent adult ‘masquerading’ as 6-year-old” and I thought this was an article about AOC.

We have a corpse masquerading as a president….I feel their pain.


Why do people always want to adopt from another country? There are plenty of young children here in the US that need good homes. Reply

  • seola462
  • Because of the long, drawn out process that’s twice as expensive with a real risk the biological parents can take the child back even years later leaving them broken hearted and out $80,000.
  • seola462
  • I should mention, I do wish we had more local adoptions. It’s just so punishing and prohibitive to do so here.

    Brandon is older than he looks too.

    Adopting someone else’s problem is like voting for democrats over and over again

    Adults posing as kids. Men posing as women. Residents posing as Presidents. We live in very trying times.

    Then the girl went on to be a very successful left wing political operative. She displayed all the right skills and tendencies.

    Ironically Anheuser-Busch endorses an adult male who pretends to be a 6 year old girl.

    The Ukrainians knew exactly what they were doing when they sent an adult to pose as a child. Americans, particularly kindhearted people, like these two need to be extremely vigilant when dealing with corrupt countries. That is to include the corrupt USA – the USA adoption agency did not do their research (or did but didn’t disclose). Either way, the agency took this couples money and ruined their lives.

    The eyes never lie. She creeps me out.

    If you pay Zelensky 100 dollars, you can get a birth certificate which puts you at any age. If you want to falsify a US birth certificate, however, you must be born in Kenya and move to Hawaii.

    I heard about this then in 2010.

    They were able to prove the facts. Yet still harassed by the authorities. If anything the young woman should have been arrested for lying about who she is. Not the other way around.

    I would sue everyone involved.

    Divorce happened.

    Arrested happened.

    The nightmare this lady put the family through.

    How awful.

    When her birth age was changed to 1989, she immediately registered as a Democrat, the party that not only welcomes, but reveres insanity, and evil.

    We have a child posing as an adult in the WH right now!

    My first four wife’s told the divorce court that I was a child not an adult.

    Let Joey adopt her. He can pretend she’s 6 years old and give her showers.

    Odd, i find the opposite is more common. Some adults I encounter often display the rationale, temper tantrums, reading comprehension level, and overall childish behavior of a 6 year old… They’re called liberals.

    “The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults.”….So she was a democrat.

    Wanna be parents wouldn’t have to travel across the globe to adopt a child if Americans didn’t kill their unborn in such massive numbers

    Now we have Dylan Mulvaney dressing up as a little girl and makes Woman of the Year. The world is nothing but a freak show.

    I was raised as an only child, it was difficult for my siblings

    Bid deal. Joe Biden has been masquerading as an adult his entire life.

    I had an acquaintance from work who adopted a child from Ukraine, approximately 20 years ago, who went through something similar to this. The orphanage lied about a number of issues the child had, just to get the child adopted. Multiple physical problems, blindness, and autism, along with attachment and defiant disorder. She told us everyday some new problem they were having with him. The child completely lacked any sign of emotion from what I saw, when they threw an adoption party for the child. The photo they sent with the description of the six year old was different than the child that arrived from Ukraine. They weren’t allowed to pick him up in Ukraine but he was brought by a caregiver to them, in the states. Yes, they paid a lot for this adoption, she told me. They took care of him for two years, as I recall ,until, supposedly, he tried to strangle the family cat and feed their new baby carpet cleaner, among other things. He then became a ward of the state, living in a group home, with 24 hr. care.

    Presently in America we have thousands of young adults masquerading as children with their ridiculous protests, breaking into stores, beating up each other and the elderly

    Have you ever tried to adopt an American baby? My friend and her husband did. It took 7 years and tens of thousands of dollars

    We have an acquaintance who adopted a young girl from the Ukraine who turned out to be 18 yrs old. So he kept the girl and sent his wife back.

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