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A five-year investigation resulted in charges against parents accused of changing their adopted daughter’s age before abandoning her and moving to Canada.

Michael and Kristine Barnett are charged with neglect of a dependent, according to court documents filed in Tippecanoe County.

The girl told police she was originally from Ukraine and came to the U.S. in 2008 via an adoption program. The Barnetts became her adoptive parents in 2010, according to court documents. The girl, who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, lived with the family in Hamilton County for two years.

In July 2013, the Barnetts rented an apartment for her on North 11th Street in Lafayette, left her alone and then moved the rest of the family to Canada, court documents said.

Police interviewed the girl in September 2014. She told them she “had not seen the Barnetts since they moved to Canada.”

The couple also had her presumptive age changed from 8 years old to 22 years old in an Indiana Probate Court, according to court documents, although the process through which the age change was made was unclear

Kristine Barnett told the girl to tell people she was 22 and simply “looks young” for her age, investigators said. In June 2010, a doctor estimated her age at 8. An evaluation in June 2012 showed the girl was about 11 years old, court documents said.

During an interview in September 2019, Michael Barnett told investigators the family had her age “legally changed” even though they were aware she was a minor. Other than paying for rent at the Lafayette apartment, the couple didn’t support the girl financially, court documents said.
 
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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.
Dro the article link above....
The Mans tried to become Natalia's legal guardians in 2016 but court records show they later withdrew their petition after the court upheld an earlier ruling that she was born in 1989 and not 2003.

Nevertheless she has remained a fixture in their lives ever since, appearing at family outings, joining them in church and featuring in regular Facebook updates.

'They've already tried to speak to Natalia's adopted parents and tried to go through the courts,' added the friend. 'They are just not getting anywhere and now this is escalating.
So "mom" got herself and "dad" to block the petition to become guardians/adopt the girl....but this family has been caring for her for years now anyway. Looks like the Barnetts are still trying to hide the fact that they're the liars in this situation.
 

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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.
I've got so many more questions now....Kristine and Michael said she was 8(from bone testing done on her), then it was changed to 11 just a couple years later (after more testing).....now Kristine is saying she was supposedly 6 when they got her....so IF she was 6 in 2008 when they got her and then she was actually 9 in 2010 when the second testing was done....that would/should make her 17 now (or almost)....the current family she is with say she is 16 ( so pretty close to what she would/should be IF she were a child all along).

The new family has had her in their care since late 2015 (based on photos on the woman's profile)....and over the last almost 4 years, there are many pictures of Natalia...you can definitely see small changes in her face, height, size, so it does look like she was possibly growing still (as a child would).

I still can't figure out how to get the photos to work, so I'll past links to the photos themselves on the woman's FB page for comparison.

mid-December 2015

April 2016

September 2016

April 2017

November 2017 (hospital setting)

August 2018

I find it interesting that this family has so many photos of her over the last 4 years, and there is literally only 1 or 2 from the Barnett family in the entire time they had her in their care....
 

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McDanel

Trusted Member
Bold Member!
It appears that three sets of parents or potential parents in the USA rejected the "girl". That says something and needs to be considered. Four sets, if you count her birth parents.
View attachment 23768

When I first glanced the pictures of her I thought "what a little cutie", but then, I looked again. Something feels off. Kinda creepy.

I think it would be unwise turning my back to this "kid".
Like she's laughing on the inside, and it's not a pleasant laugh.
 

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Alf

Keeper of the Dowager Tabby
Staff member
Determining age by teeth development has a natural spread of at least 5 years and that's with a normal, healthy person. Poor nutrition and physiological abnormalities only compound the accuracy. Being from Ukraine, orphaned, and having dwarfism would make any age determination of Natalie by her teeth extremely hard, if not outright impossible.
I think ± 5 years is adequate.

If she has any adult teeth at all, it would be enough to see if she has any unerupted adult teeth under any deciduous teeth. If she does, she is still a child. If she does not, she is an adult.

--Al
 

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thehesbomb

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benaisbomb

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I don’t see much change in her other than she has gotten chunky. I don’t know. I personally think she is older. A young child wouldn’t be able to live on their own that long. What are the first set of adoptive parents saying? That’s what I want to know.
 

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Brillig

Danse Macabre Instructor
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So "mom" got herself and "dad" to block the petition to become guardians/adopt the girl....but this family has been caring for her for years now anyway
No, the new family withdrew their request after a second court thoroughly reviewed the medical evidence and upheld that Natalia was an adult. You can't adopt an adult.



Looks like the Barnetts are still trying to hide the fact that they're the liars in this situation.
They are sticking to the same claim they have been making for years... that Natalia is an adult, mentally ill, con artist.
 

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FrayedKnot

Chupacabra
No, the new family withdrew their request after a second court thoroughly reviewed the medical evidence and upheld that Natalia was an adult. You can't adopt an adult.




They are sticking to the same claim they have been making for years... that Natalia is an adult, mentally ill, con artist.

So if she is an adult, why were the Barnetts charged with anything at all?
 

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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.
I don’t see much change in her other than she has gotten chunky. I don’t know. I personally think she is older. A young child wouldn’t be able to live on their own that long. What are the first set of adoptive parents saying? That’s what I want to know.
From the first pic, she looks younger and one of the later pics shows she seems to have developed breasts and put on some weight....

They are sticking to the same claim they have been making for years... that Natalia is an adult, mentally ill, con artist.
The mother is claiming she's an adult...the father has said all along (until he got himself a lawyer) that she was a child....so which one of them is the liar??

2 separate sets of hospital testing showed she was a child....one doctor (the family doctor) said she was an adult. The mother said she was 8 when they got her, then said she was an adult...she is now saying the girl was supposedly 6. So which was it??

This third family may have withdrawn their petition (after a court determined she was an adult), but this girl has been living with them for almost 4 years now...she is still receiving medical care (as per photos on the new family's FB page--the woman) so you would think the doctors/hospitals she sees would have said something by now or done more testing on her to try to determine her age.
 

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elmgems

Active Member
If The Court decided that she is an adult, and changed her birth certificate, I just don't see how The Court can charge the adoptive parents with child neglect/abandonment. If The Court decided she's not a child, then legally she's not a child. They can't have it both ways.
 

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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.
If The Court decided that she is an adult, and changed her birth certificate, I just don't see how The Court can charge the adoptive parents with child neglect/abandonment. If The Court decided she's not a child, then legally she's not a child. They can't have it both ways.
And therein lies the problem...the court changed her age based on what was provided to them by the Barnetts....but reports and evidence provided to the police over the course of their investigation must show she is a child (or at least was) at the time of abandonment. Otherwise I don't think they could legally press charges on them.
 

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cubby

Live Long and Prosper
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Even as an adult tho, isn't it illegal to abandon a vulnerable adult? She can't support herself, and her age being extremely flexible, there will be no job. So in my mind she is a dependent adult, that is if she is an adult.
 

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benaisbomb

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From the first pic, she looks younger and one of the later pics shows she seems to have developed breasts and put on some weight...
I mean when I was skinny I had very little breasts. But as I let myself go and gained weight I gained breasts (fatty ones). Same with men. Chubby men have breasts. And in the first picture she would look younger as she is younger. I look nothing like I did at 22. I’m now 30. People age.
 

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Brillig

Danse Macabre Instructor
Bold Member!
So if she is an adult, why were the Barnetts charged with anything at all?
Because she still claims she is (was) a child.
Post automatically merged:

....one doctor (the family doctor) said she was an adult.
This is not true. Both medical doctors and psychiatrists (some from the mental hospital where she stayed for a time) believed that she was an adult, not just one doctor. It was in several articles.

And therein lies the problem...the court changed her age based on what was provided to them by the Barnetts...
This is not quite accurate. There were many medical records from several sources used by the court when her age was originally changed, from both medical doctors and psychiatrists, and then those records and more were reviewed by the second court, which upheld that she was an adult.
 
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FrayedKnot

Chupacabra
Because she still claims she is (was) a child.
Well, I could claim to be a child but I doubt my husband would be arrested and charged with statutory rape based on my word.

Her age was legally (but still suspectly, in my opinion) changed so there are no legal grounds upon which to charge the Barnetts.

I believe she was a juvenile when they ditched her, possibly a year or two older than advertised, but not an adult. So I think the Barnetts deserve the charges on moral and ethical grounds if not legal ones, but that ain’t how it works.

And yet it still has......how?
 
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Old Man Metal

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Natalia would spend the next year or so being treated for various psychiatric disorders, spending days to weeks at a time at the St Vincent Indianapolis Stress Center.
She had no hesitation in accepting Natalia despite learning she had a bone growth disorder named spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia, which causes short stature, skeletal abnormalities and problems with vision.
Still sticking with psycho dwarf.
 

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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.
Have they ever said if any doctors or psychiatrists testified in the court proceeding to change her age? Or was it only paper reports?

They need to bring in some medical experts to figure out her true age and then they can proceed with charges or drop them.

At this point, from the articles I've read, there are many doctors that say she is/was a child at the time this occurred. Kristine has provided paperwork from other doctors that say she was an adult when it occurred...since nobody knows the accurate information, why not find doctors who can figure it out right.
 

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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.

So how old is Natalia, really?

Police say that bone-density tests carried out on Natalia in 2010 show that she was eight years old then, and that in 2012, tests showed she was around 11. That same year, however, the Barnetts had her age officially changed to 22 years old, after a judge agreed to their petition to have her birth date updated to 1989. (Kristine Barnett claims that a family doctor who conducted bone-density tests after Natalia was adopted determined she was 14 years old or older.)
Is a family doctor qualified to perform bone density testing for purposes of determining age? I would think the hospital that did the testing on her in 2010 and 2012 is more qualified for this.....and if for some reason, she was 14 or so when this testing was done, she would still have been legally a child when they abandoned her.

She could be a psycho dwarf or she could be a child who got shafted...who knows. I do know from reading everything I can find about this that the mother is a narcissistic b**ch who really didn't seem to give a crap about this girl and did what she could to eliminate her from their family.
 

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Old Man Metal

Trusted Member
Staff member
Have they ever said if any doctors or psychiatrists testified in the court proceeding to change her age? Or was it only paper reports?
Some details on that in @thehesbomb's link.

Lots o pics. She looks freaky.

 

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