Adopted 'child' who turned out to be 22-year-old-woman denies being an ‘adult sociopath’
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Featured Image Credit: Investigation Discovery
A 22-year-old woman who was adopted by a family thinking she was six years old has denied being an 'adult sociopath'.
Natalia Grace was welcomed into her new family by parents Kristine and Michael Barnett in 2010, but it wasn't long before the couple started to notice their new 'child' exhibit some strange behavior.
Convinced they'd adopted a six-year-old Ukrainian girl, Kristine and Michael were stunned when they realised their daughter, who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, had 'periods, adult teeth and pubic hair'.
The family said they conducted medical tests and learned she wasn't a child at all - but a woman of 22 years old.
Kristine later claimed to have seen Natalia 'draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members', and alleged she watched her put 'chemicals' in her coffee.
The parents launched a criminal case against Natalia in which they accused her of fraud and said she was an 'adult sociopath masquerading as a child'.
Natalia has hit back at the claims, however, arguing the allegations against her are 'not true at all'.
During an appearance on Dr. Phil in 2019, Natalia added: "I just want people to hear my side."
She also denied Kristine and Michael's claim that they made her have bone scans which proved she was born in 1989, adding: "I actually thought I had found the right family after bouncing around from a lot of families. I thought I had found the right family for me."
After Dr. Phil met Natalia in 2019, a few years after Michael and Kristine petitioned Marion County Probate Court to have her age legally changed to 22, the television host expressed belief Natalia wasn't as old as her adoptive parents claimed.
"I certainly don't think this individual is 30 years old," he said. "So I think the court has done a real miscarriage of justice here in reading her the way they have. I don't think there's really medical support for that."
Dr. Phil added that he's not even sure Natalia knows how old she is, saying: "When you're a child, particularly coming from a group home in a foreign country... they didn't celebrate every one of her birthdays. I don't think she knows how old she is."
Natalia's story is set to be investigated further in a new documentary coming to ID later this month (29 May), titled The Curious Case of Natalia Grace.
The documentary features interviews from the family members, and sees Michael admit that viewers 'might not like the truth'.