Natalia Barnett

History Uncovered Episode 37:
Was Natalia Barnett A Six-Year-Old Adoptee Or An Adult Scam Artist?

Published September 29, 2023

Michael and Kristine Barnett of Indiana claimed that their adopted daughter Natalia Barnett was really a psychotic adult dwarf who tried to kill them — and the truth remains shrouded in mystery.

In 2010, Kristine and Michael Barnett of Indiana celebrated a joyous occasion when they added their adopted daughter Natalia Grace to their family. But according to the Barnetts, their life with Natalia quickly became the stuff of nightmares. They say that the six-year-old was not a child at all — but instead a grown woman with severe health mental problems.

Like something from a horror film — and, indeed, the case bears a striking resemblance to the 2009 film The Orphan — Kristine began to notice that her “six-year-old” daughter had adult characteristics like having her period as well as using vocabulary far too advanced for a child. What’s more, the Barnetts claim that Natalia terrorized both them and their biological children.

They say that she started standing over their beds at night and threatening to stab them in their sleep, leading the couple to hide all the sharp objects in the house. On another occasion, Kristine says that Natalia Grace tried to push her into an electric fence.

Then she claimed that she caught Natalia trying to poison her coffee with bleach and Windex. When Kristine asked her adopted daughter what she was doing, Kristine claims that Natalia matter-of-factly told her “I am trying to kill you.”

Natalia Barnett

Kristine BarnettNatalia Grace Barnett came to the United States two years before the Barnetts adopted her in 2010, but had no birth certificate. Initial tests showed she was between 8 and 10 years old, though later tests said otherwise.

Just a couple of years after the adoption, the Barnetts moved to Canada and left Natalia behind, claiming that this adult woman could care for herself. “Natalia was a woman,” Kristine argued. “She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism.”

But Natalia has remained defiant. She insists that she was just a little girl when the Barnetts adopted, then abandoned her. She had never, she claims, threatened anyone’s life.

The poisoned coffee? Simply a misunderstanding while cleaning the kitchen, Natalia said. The stabbing threats? Natalia says they didn’t happen. And as for those creepy nighttime visits? Natalia claims she would have only entered Kristine and Michael’s bedroom at night if she’d had a nightmare and run to them out of fear.

Though the Barnetts say that Natalia is now in her thirties, she claims to be just a teenager — and is living today with another adoptive family. To date, neither Natalia nor the Barnetts have backed down from their stories.

Dig deeper into the disturbing story of Natalia Barnett.

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