A seemingly perfect adoption story turns into a chilling tale of deception and danger when a loving couple discovers their newly-adopted daughter is not who she appears to be.
Michael and Kristine Barnett chose to expand their family by adopting a young girl named Natalia from Florida. Natalia, originally from Ukraine, suffered from a rare form of dwarfism, but the Barnetts welcomed her into their loving home, eager to provide the stability she lacked after being shuffled between various foster families.
Despite Natalia’s medical condition, the Barnetts embraced her as a part of their family of five, showering her with love and care from the moment she joined them. However, the idyllic adoption story took a shocking turn when Kristine discovered something alarming during Natalia’s bath time. It appeared that Natalia had already gone through puberty, which would be highly unusual for a six-year-old girl.
The Barnetts later told the BBC, “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.” Their suspicion intensified when they claimed that Natalia attempted to poison Kristina and even plotted to stab the entire family in their sleep.
Two years after adopting Natalia, the bewildered couple sought legal action to correct her birth year from 2003 to 1989, revealing that she was much older than they had been led to believe. In a heart-wrenching decision, the Barnetts left Natalia behind in 2014 and moved to Canada to start anew.
Natalia later appeared on Dr. Phil, vehemently denying the violent accusations against her. However, the adoptive parents now face one count of felony neglect each, as a Tippecanoe County judge has issued arrest warrants for them.
This chilling tale of adoption gone awry serves as a shocking reminder that things are not always as they seem, leaving a family torn apart and a young girl’s true identity shrouded in mystery.
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