Natalia Grace Barnett’s former adopted parents, Michael and Kristine Barnett, claimed she was an adult pretending to be a 6-year-old orphan when she joined their family. But how old is she really? Her voter registration, various medical exams and a DNA test provide insight.

When Was Natalia Grace Barnett Born?

Michael and Kristine believed that the Ukraine native was 6 years old when they adopted her in 2010, meaning that she was born in 2003.

However, the former couple presented the Marion County Superior Court with forensic evidence proving that she was 21 at the time of her adoption. Due to the evidence, they concluded that Natalia was actually born on September 4, 1989.

In May 2019, Natalia seemingly confirmed her age when she listed 1989 as her birth year while registering to vote in Indiana, In Touch can exclusively confirm. While that would have made her 30 years old at the time, she claimed to be 16 while appearing on Dr. Phil in November of the same year.

“I’m 16,” she said at the time. “I was six years old when I came to the United States. I just know that a family came and visited me and after a while, they adopted me.”

Is Natalia Grace Barnett a Child or Adult?

Michael insisted he believed that Natalia was a child when they adopted her in 2010 in the Investigation Discovery (ID) docuseries The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, which premiered on May 29, 2023.

“We adopted Natalia because we wanted to help somebody who was in danger of never being loved,” he explained.

Natalia has spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, which is a rare kind of dwarfism that can cause skeletal abnormalities and issues with vision and hearing. Due to the condition, Natalia was barely 3 feet tall at the time of her adoption and could have passed off for much younger than her actual age.

Michael and Kristine began to question Natalia’s new age when she got her period and they noticed she had pubic hair while giving her a bath.

What Claims Did Michael and Kristine Barnett Make Against Natalia Grace?

While petitioning to have Natalia’s birthdate changed in 2012, Michael and Kristine claimed they couldn’t live with Natalia anymore. The pair said that she exhibited disturbing behavior, including approaching their bed with a knife and attempting to poison Kristine’s coffee.

They left the former orphan in Lafayette, Indiana, and moved to Canada in 2013 with their biological sons Jacob, Wesley and Ethan. The Barnetts eventually divorced, though they have continued to stick to their allegations against Natalia.

Even though they had Natalia’s birth date changed, both Michael and Kristine were charged with multiple counts of neglect in the state of Indiana in September 2019.

“I wanted to be with the Barnetts,” the former orphan testified during Michael’s October 2022 trial. “I wanted to live with them.”

Michael’s charges were dismissed later that month, while Kristine’s charges were dropped the following March before she went to trial.

How Old Is Natalia Grace? Inside Claims That She Lied About Being a Child, Voter Registration, More
Investigative Discovery (ID)

Natalia Grace Proves Her Age in ‘Natalia Speaks’

ID announced that Natalia would share her side of the scandal in the documentary The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks.

“It’s very frustrating to hear everything that’s being said from Kristine and Michael because I already don’t know who I am, and I want to know who I am, what happened to me,” she said in a teaser clip from the documentary, which was shared by Entertainment Tonight. “But I’m hearing all this stuff that never actually happened from Kristine and Michael.”

In the docuseries, Natalia aims to prove her age through dental records and X-rays. “All the records I have, especially the medical records, all point to me being a kid,” she said. “There’s a lot of people thinking, ‘There is a way to tell her age, there is a way to prove it.’ I just want people to see the truth about my age.”

In episode 1, which aired on January 1, 2024, it was revealed that an endocrinologist confirmed to Kristine in 2010 that Natalia was between 9 and 11 years old at the time. The following year, a dentist examined her teeth and determined with “no question” that she was around 9 years old. Finally, Natalia took a DNA test in 2023 that proved she is currently around 22 years old, meaning she was a child when the Barnetts adopted her and later abandoned her.

Natalia said of the results, “This is so big, this has been 12 years of just two people, lying their butts off. They ruined a kids’ life. They painted them as a big monster, when in reality, they were the ones. It just proves I was not lying about my age. They ignored everything that was pointing to the truth, just so they could have this stupid lie. They knew it and they still did what they did.”

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