The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks ended with a shocking twist that will continue the unusual saga of Natalia Grace Mans (née Barnett). Six months after Antwon and Cynthia Mans legally adopted the Ukraine native into their family, they said they are “done with her” after she betrayed them.
The Investigation Discovery docuseries’ finale, which aired on Wednesday, January 3, concluded with Natalia’s court hearing to officially become a Mans. However, it wasn’t a happy ending. The episode ended with an alleged phone call that producers received from Antwon and Cynthia two weeks after production wrapped.
“Something ain’t right with Natalia. This girl is tweakin’,” Antwon said on the other end of the line. “I feel like she’s the enemy in the house. And she said to us, we have held her hostage. Made us look like we’re the enemy.”
His wife Cynthia added, “Natalia is stabbing her family in the back over a complete lie.”
Antwon concluded that Natalia, 22, has “done other things too, but this was a new low. Natalia does not have emotions for nothing but herself. We’re done. We’re done with her.”
The phone call did not reveal exactly what Natalia allegedly did to the Mans family, but it looks like fans will find out. Natalia Speaks ended with a note on the screen saying, “Natalia’s story will continue.”
Natalia’s story began in 2010 when she was adopted by Michael and Kristine Barnett, a couple from Indiana. At the time, they thought that she was 6 years old. However, they began to suspect that she was much older when Kristine allegedly found pubic hair on Natalia’s body while bathing her. They suspected that Natalia, who has a rare form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDc), was an adult con artist posing as a child to ruin their lives. Michael and Kristine went on to accuse Natalia of threatening and attempting to kill them multiple times.
After two years with Natalia, Michael and Kristine petitioned to have her birth year legally changed from 2003 to 1989, which would have made her 23 years old in 2012. They rented her an apartment in Lafayette, Indiana, and moved to Canada with their three biological sons, leaving Natalia behind.
While in Lafayette, Natalia met Antwon and Cynthia. They believed that she was a child living on her own. Additionally, they recognized how difficult it was for Natalia to live on her own with her disability, as the apartment had several flights of stairs and cabinets that she couldn’t reach.
Michael and Kristine faced charges of neglect of a dependent in 2019. However, Michael’s charges were completely dropped by October 2022. Kristine’s charges were dropped before her trial in March 2023.
Meanwhile, Antwon and Cynthia became Natalia’s new guardians and advocated for her. They maintained that she was never violent toward their family and that she was a child when the Barnetts abandoned her.
Antwon was there to support Natalia in Natalia Speaks, which saw her dispute the Barnetts’ claims and reveal the alleged abuse she experienced from Kristine. Natalia also took a DNA test that proved she was 22 years old as of 2023, meaning that she was around 9 years old when she lived by herself in Lafayette. The docuseries also revealed that Natalia was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, a condition where a child struggles to form an emotional bond with their caretakers due to trauma, in 2010.
After her final confrontation with Michael, in which Natalia forgave her former adoptive father, she went forward with the process of becoming adopted by the Mans. She told her lawyer that Antwon and Cynthia were her real parents because they “showed her love” when the Barnetts didn’t. Natalia was all smiles on her adoption day as the judge declared her a Mans.
“This is the happiest moment of my entire life,” she said.
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