Michael and Kristine Barnett: Where Are Natalia Grace’s Ex-Adoptive Parents Now?

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When Michael and Kristine Barnett adopted Natalia Grace in 2009, they believed they welcomed a 6-year-old girl born and brought up in Ukraine. However, shortly after, the Barnetts claimed they spotted evidence that indicated that Natalia was much older than what was stated on her birth certificate. Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Curious Case of Natalia Grace’ chronicles the shocking incident and how it changed the Barnetts’ lives. Well, if you are intrigued to know more and want to find out where Michael and Kristine Barnett are at present, we have you covered.

Who Are Michael and Kristine Barnett?

While on the show, Michael Barnett mentioned that he and his family had enjoyed a wonderful life before Natalia joined their family. While he and his wife, Kristine Barnett, were well settled in Indiana, they shared three wonderful children and looked forward to a beautiful future. Even people who knew them then claimed that Michael and Kristine were very much in love and excited to expand their family. Eventually, in 2009, the couple took in Natalia Grace through an emergency adoption process. During the process, they were told that she was a six-year-old Ukrainian national born in 2003.

Since the child’s birth certificate matched the adoption agency’s information, Michael and Kristine did not think much before signing the papers. Surprisingly, shortly after bringing Natalia home, the Barnetts allegedly began noticing sudden changes in her behavior. For starters, she was highly short-tempered and often raged if things did not go her way. Moreover, Natalia supposedly began gravitating toward violence and often talked about harming her adoptive parents and siblings. However, things went from bad to worse when the Barnetts woke up one night to allegedly find her standing at the edge of their bed with a knife.

Terrified of what might happen next, Michael and Kristine immediately took the girl to a mental hospital, where doctors claimed she seemed older than six. Incidentally, they mentioned that the Ukrainian native was living with a rare form of dwarfism called Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita, which gave her a childlike appearance. Still, she was even known to have regular menstrual cycles, proving she was much older than six. On top of it, Kristine and Michael claimed that they even got a Ukrainian native to talk to her, and it was evident that the child had not heard the language previously.

Realizing how uncomfortable it was to live under the same roof with Natalia, the Barnetts filed a court order, and the judge changed her birth year from 2003 to 1989. Hence, once she was classified as an adult, she was asked to leave the Barnett family home and live in an apartment in Westfield, Indiana. Natalia lived in the apartment for several months until her lease ran out. By then, Michael and Kristine’s eldest son, Jacob, was accepted into a Canadian university for his Master’s Degree. Eventually, the family decided to leave Natalia behind in another apartment in Lafayette, Indiana, before moving to Canada permanently.

Michael and Kristine Barnett Are Leading Separate Lives Today

While living in Lafayette, Indiana, Natalia befriended several neighbors who eventually reported the incident to child protection services. Although the Ukrainian native was classified as an adult according to court documents, she insisted that she was still a child when the Barnetts first adopted her. Besides, Natalia claimed she wanted to live with her adopted mother and father, but they refused to have her in the house. Thus, after a thorough investigation, law enforcement officials considered Michael and Kristine responsible, who were subsequently charged with several counts of child neglect.

Once taken into custody, Michael and Kristine changed their tune and started blaming each other. Furthermore, the show mentioned that during the investigation, the police learned that their marriage was abusive, while several witnesses who knew Natalia spoke up in her favor. Nevertheless, Michael managed to get four of his neglect of a dependent charges dismissed while awaiting trial and was acquitted of the remaining charges in October 2022.

On the other hand, the prosecution chose to drop the charges against Kristine for lack of evidence in March 2023. At present, she and Michael are divorced, and they prefer to live independent lives. Yet, while sources mention that Kristine has built a life for herself in Florida, Michael still appears to reside in Indiana and came into contact with Natalia in ‘The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks.’ He claimed that he, too, had been manipulated and abused by Kristine as she had allegedly been threatening to take away his other children from him should he not do as she stated. Furthermore, he also stood in support of his son Jacob Barnett, who had been allegedly asked by Krsitine to urinate on Natalia’s bed when she was still living with them.

Read More: Jacob Barnett: Where is Michael and Kristine Barnett’s Son Now?