They Thought They Were Adopting a 6-Year-Old. Now They Say She Was Adult 'Sociopath' with Dwarfism

Natalia Grace, an orphan from Ukraine, was adopted by Kristine and Michael Barnett in 2010

Michael and Kristine Barnett and their family were at an Indiana dairy farm to celebrate the birthday of one of their sons. The family was walking near an electric fence on the property — but their adopted daughter Natalia Grace said she needed to stop.

Kristine stayed back with Natalia while Michael and their three sons continued to walk ahead.

A short time later Barnett and his sons heard sirens.

“The second I heard the sirens, I thought, 'Kristine is dead,'” Barnett said. He added: "Natalia had been trying to pull Kristine into the fence."

Natalia Grace Barnett

The bizarre tale of Natalia's adoption-gone-wrong is featured in the new ID docuseries, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, which will debut across three consecutive nights on ID beginning Monday, May 29, airing nightly from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT. (An exclusive clip is shown below.)

At the dairy farm, said Barnett, “[Natalia] had been screaming out loud. You f------ b---- I am going to kill you…You are going to die."

RELATED: Dad Accused of Changing Daughter's Age From 8 to 22 and Leaving Her Claims She's Adult 'Con Artist'

Kristine and Michael Barnett
Kristine and Michael Barnett.Tippecanoe County Jail (2)

Barnett said he and his wife wanted Natalia arrested, but instead law enforcement brought her to a psychiatric facility for evaluation.

“She admittedly, to their face, when they came to the 911 call said, 'I am trying to kill her,'” Barnett said. “They made the distinction that their visual told them, ‘Hey that is a little girl she is not really trying to kill anybody. She is sick. We are going to take her to the hospital instead.'”

The story of Natalia, an orphan from the Ukraine who was adopted by the Barnetts, made headlines around the world.

Related:  Inside the Bizarre Tale of Natalia Grace, Adopted from Ukraine: Is She a Child or an Adult 'Sociopath?'

The couple claimed when they adopted Natalia in 2010 they believed they were adopting a 6-year-old girl. Soon after, they claimed they became suspicious of her age, leading to a bombshell claim: that Natalia, who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, was merely posing as a child — was really an adult woman with sinister intentions.

The Barnetts alleged Natalia tried to harm them and their biological children. The couple claimed that Natalia not only tried to electrocute Kristine but attempted to poison Kristine's coffee and placed clear thumb tacks on the stairs face up so that they would step on them.

Related:  Parenting Author & Husband Accused of Changing Daughter's Age from 8 to 22, Moving Countries Without Her

In 2012, two years after Natalia was adopted by the Barnetts, the couple petitioned Marion County Probate Court to have her age legally changed to 22, changing her birth year from 2003 to 1989.

The following year, the couple moved with their three sons to Canada without her, leaving her alone in an apartment in Lafayette.

The Barnetts, who later divorced, were charged with neglect of a dependent. Prosecutors couldn't charge the couple with neglect of a child because of Natalia's court-ordered age change.

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Natalia testified during Michael’s trial saying that she didn’t want to live in Lafayette.

“I wanted to be with the Barnetts,” she said, the reported. “I wanted to live with them.”

Michael was found not guilty of three counts of neglect and conspiracy to commit neglect of a dependent in 2022, the Associated Press reported.

In March, charges against Kristina, the author of "The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius" about her prodigy son, were dropped, according to WTHR.

The Curious Case of Natalia Grace airs across three consecutive nights on ID beginning Monday, May 29, airing nightly from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.

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