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Parents Abandon Adopted Daughter after Allegedly Discovering She's an Adult Impostor

Brittany Litster
Nov 05, 2021
08:00 P.M.

When a couple decided to adopt a six-year-old girl, their mission was to provide her with a loving home. However, shortly after the Ukrainian adoptee joined their family, the couple noticed something suspicious.

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When Kristine Barnett and her now-ex-husband Michael Barnett welcomed Natalia Grace into their lives after an emergency adoption in 2010, they were excited at the prospect of raising her.

Kristine first noticed that something was questionable when their new daughter, who was said to be six, displayed features that signify puberty. After bathing her, the mother was confused.

Parents that adopted a girl are charged for purportedly abandoning her | Photo: Twitter/indystar

Parents that adopted a girl are charged for purportedly abandoning her | Photo: Twitter/indystar

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FEARED FOR HER LIFE

Paired with her adult vocabulary and a desire to be in teenage company, the parents were concerned. Grace also began behaving strangely. Kristine claims her adoptive child made her fear for her life.

She claims Grace hid knives in the couches, poisoned her coffee, and stood over her bed in the middle of the night. The couple was worried and decided to have Grace admitted to a health care facility.

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THE DOCTOR REVEALED SOMETHING SHOCKING

After various tests and time at a mental institution, a doctor revealed something shocking that disturbed the parents. The doctor told Kristine and Michael that their daughter was older than she claimed to be.

In fact, she was purportedly over 20 years of age. Owing to a condition of dwarfism, they were unsuspecting of this finding. In 2019, the couple was accused of dumping Grace in an apartment, and they were charged because she was dependent on them.

Parents adopt a young girl and later claim she is much older than they were led to believe | Photo: Youtube/ABC News

Parents adopt a young girl and later claim she is much older than they were led to believe | Photo: Youtube/ABC News

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THE MOTHER DENIED ABANDONMENT CLAIMS

The couple moved their family to Canada so that their son could attend a specific school. However, this move was critiqued, and authorities apprehended Kristine because they believed she left her daughter to fend for herself.

The mother denied these claims and shared that Grace was 22 years old and thus capable of taking care of herself. She indicated that the media's portrayal of her as a "child abuser" was incorrect.

The Ukrainian girl that was adopted and later purportedly abandoned by her adoptive parents because of her age | Photo: Youtube/ABC News

The Ukrainian girl that was adopted and later purportedly abandoned by her adoptive parents because of her age | Photo: Youtube/ABC News

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SHE LOVED GRACE

Kristine stated that she had welcomed the little girl into her home with open arms, taken her to Disneyland, and given her more than enough attention. Kirstine noted that she had an overwhelming love for Grace.

However, when things took a dark turn and Grace's mental health deteriorated, she devoted her time to getting help for Grace. In 2012, the Barnett family was successful in their legal efforts to have Grace's age altered.

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RESPONSIBLE FOR HERSELF

This allowed the young woman to receive mental health treatment designed for adults. This also made Grace legally responsible for herself.

Out of love, Kristine and her husband helped Grace find and pay for her apartment in Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, get a social security number and an ID. The family also wanted to help her enroll in college to study toward a career in cosmetology.

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LOST COMMUNICATION WITH HER

However, when they moved to Canada, they lost all communication with Grace. Kristine stated that she did not abandon Grace. She said: "I went to Canada to further my son's education. These accusations are absolutely devastating."

Her ex-husband was also charged. Kristine remains heartbroken because of everything that had happened since the adoption and purports that her only desire was to give love.

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