Natalia's parents adopted her at age six. They claim she's a grown woman who tried to kill them.

In 2010, Kristine and Michael Barnett, who lived in Florida, adopted a Ukrainian six-year-old girl named Natalia, who has a form of dwarfism.

However, it didn’t take long for the adoptive parents to question their new daughter’s age, for a number of reasons. For example, Kristine Barnett remembers giving Natalia a bath for the first time and noticing the girl had pubic hair. She also had periods, they claim, and adult teeth – uncommon bodily developments for a girl of her age.

“I had just been told she was a six-year-old and it was very apparent she wasn’t,” Kristine told the Daily Mail recently.

Kristine and Michael believed her to be close to 22-years-old, alleging she was actually born in 1989. In 2012, they had her age legally changed.

natalia barnett
Kristine and Michael Barnett.

"The movie Orphan is exactly what happened," Kristine said, referencing the 2009 thriller that sees two parents adopt a murderous woman masquerading as a child.

Indeed, just like that movie, Kristine and Michael claim Natalia tried to kill them. They say Natalia tried to drag Kristine into an electric fence, poisoned their coffee and stood above them while they slept. According to them, Natalia is a "sociopath" and a "con artist".

So they moved to Canada and left Natalia behind, paying for her to live in an apartment by herself.

In September this year, they were charged with neglect and will now stand trial in early 2020 for their apparent abandonment.


Last week, Natalia, who claims she is now 16-years-old, went on US talk show Dr Phil and denied the claims she is an adult woman. She has since been adopted by Antwon and Cynthia Mans, who believe she is a child.

natalia barnett
Last week, Natalia, who claims she is now 16-years-old, went on US talk show Dr Phil and denied the claims she is an adult woman. Image: Dr Phil.

"It’s not true at all," Natalia said as tears streamed down her cheeks after Dr Phil asked about the Barnett's claims. "I’m 16. I was six years old when I came to the United States."

Dr Phil pointed out that it was hard to believe that an eight-year-old girl could function perfectly well in an apartment by herself, which Natalia did.

"So at eight-years-old, you're living alone in an apartment?" Dr Phil asks Natalia.

"Yes... I actually didn't even go grocery shopping. My landlord took me to a gas station or something just to pick up a couple of things.

"The Barnetts had given me food that they didn't eat. Like canned food and stuff like that," Natalia explained.

Natalia also denied she had periods while living with the Barnetts.

The facts are yet to be confirmed and Natalia's real age remains unclear. Kristine and Michael Barnett, who are now divorced, will face court in January 2020.

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