“Life is hard but gotta keep going,” Natalia, who is believed to be 22, captioned the photo. She also included the hashtag “fight” to conclude her message. The post was complete with a selfie of Natalia wearing a purple skirt and black top with a smile on her face.
Natalia, who was adopted by Antwon Mans and Cynthia Mans in 2023, is in the midst of some issues with her adoptive parents. The adoption process was documented on ID’s docuseries The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks, which aired at the beginning of January. However, the special ended with Antwon and Cynthia calling producers and insisting they were “done” with Natalia just six months after signing the paperwork to adopt her.
“Something ain’t right with Natalia,” Antwon said on the phone call. “This girl is tweakin’. I feel like she’s the enemy in the house. And she said to us [that] we have held her hostage. Made us look like we’re the enemy.”
The specifics of what happened between Natalia and the Mans’ has not been revealed. The docuseries ended with a message that read, “Natalia’s story will continue,” hinting that the aftermath of the Mans’ phone call will be documented. Natalia also explained why she hasn’t told her side of the story yet in an Instagram post on January 5.
“I am okay and doing well,” she assured her followers. “And thank you for all your support and prayers. I wish I could tell you more [about] the show but I signed an agreement with the show to keep things confidential for now. I will let you guys know when I can for sure, but just know I am okay.”
However, Cynthia said in a Tuesday, January 9, interview that everything is “absolutely perfect” between her family and Natalia. “No, she doesn’t live with us but we are fine,” Cynthia insisted. She revealed that Natalia has been living with friends but is still in contact with the Mans’.
Natalia is a Ukrainian orphan who was first adopted by Michael Barnett and Kristine Barnett in 2010. While she was living with the Barnetts, her real age came into question, as the now-divorced couple began to believe that Natalia was an adult con artist who was posing as a child. They accused Natalia of threatening to kill them and their three sons while she was living with them.
When the Barnetts adopted Natalia, they were told she was 6 years old and born in 2003. They had her age legally changed in 2012, changing her birth year to 1989 and making her 22 years old at the time. Natalia was then sent to live in an apartment on her own, where she struggled to climb up the building’s front steps and couldn’t reach the cabinets in her kitchen due to her spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita, a rare form of dwarfism.
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Natalia accused the Barnetts of abusive behavior and they were charged with neglecting a dependent, as Natalia’s legal age was that of an adult at the time. Michael has since been found not guilty and Kristine’s charges were dropped.
In 2023, Natalia took a DNA test that revealed she was estimated to be 22, which would have made her 9 years old at the time that she was living alone in the Indiana apartment.
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