Couple defend dwarf accused of posing as a child and terrorising family

“She is a genuine and loving young lady who's just been through a horrible situation. I just want to say that I love my daughter and I will be happy when the truth comes out.”

The young woman hits back on claims she's "an evil dwarf who scammed her parents, lied about her age and terrorised them".

It’s the story that’s been compared to Hollywood movie Orphan, but the truth is stranger than fiction.Natalia Grace , who suffers from a rare form of dwarfism, arrived in the US from Ukraine thought to be aged six in 2008.
In 2010 she was adopted by Kristine and Michael Barnett who end up later abandoning in an apartment in Indiana in 2013 as they believe she is psychopathic adult posing as a child.In 2019 Kristine and Michael were later charged with child abandonment but claim that Natalia terrorised the family and lied about who she really was.Want to join the family? Sign up to our Kidspot newsletter for more stories like this.Natalia Grace was accused by her adoptive parents of posing as a child. Image: Dr Phil

"With kids, the days are long, but the years are short." - John Leguizamo

“She wanted to kill us”

In an interview with DailyMailTV , Kristine alleged that Natalia “pushed her onto an electric fence, poured bleach in her coffee and threatened to stab them in their sleep”.

“She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard,” Kristine said.

“She was standing over people in the middle of the night. You couldn't go to sleep. We had to hid all the sharp objects.

“I saw her putting chemicals, bleach, Windex something like that, in my coffee and I asked her, 'what are you doing?' she said, ‘I am trying to poison you.’”

She also claimed that Natalia was really 22 years of age and posing as a child, which is why they abandoned her.

The Barnetts were later charged with child abandonment. Image: Country Sheriff Office.

“She’s genuine and loving”

Natalia was later adopted by couple Anton and Cynthia Bishop-Mans in 2013, who in a recent interview with Dr Phil, say that Natalia is actually a “genuine and loving” person who is nothing like the psychotic person the Barnetts described her as.During the TV appearance Dr Phil questioned: “Have any of the things that she has been accused of doing, that this prior family have alleged that she has done, happened that your home?”

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“No. Not at all… She would get into trouble just like any normal child would. She didn't display any kind of psychotic behaviour,” said Cynthia.

“We have had three kids since she has been with us. She has been there for the delivery of one literally in the delivery room when her brother was born. She is amazing."

Natalia with her new adoptive parents Anton and Cynthia. Image: Dr Phil.

“She was a burden to Kristine”

Cynthia then went onto say she believed that Kristine may have abandoned Natalia as she did want to pay for her medical bills.

“I think Kristine felt like it was a burden,” she said.

“I think Kristine felt like she wasn't going to be this role model mother that she was until this came out. I believe that there is something that she is hiding, that she didn't want to get out.

“Because when we got her, the first thing she said we got a call from Kristine and she said take her to a psychiatric facility and get her evaluated because she is crazy,” she added before saying: “Don't believe a word she has to say.”

Cynthia says Natalia is nothing like The Barnetts described her as. Image: CBS

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“It’s not right”

Natalia, who was also present on the show, went onto say that she didn’t want The Barnetts to go to prison but they got what they deserve.

“It's not right to do that to a child. I don't want it to happen to anybody else, but if it did have to come to that then they should do the responsible thing, do their time come and get it over with and get right with God,” she said.

“I do believe they should serve some time for what they did. My hope is that this will never happen to another child again,” added Cynthia.

“I think that they should know that what they did was wrong. Above all I want them to know that our family still loves them. We pray for them.”

“I just want people to know who Natalia is. Without somebody else trying to paint a picture of her of who they think she is because of the media.

“She is a genuine and loving young lady who's just been through a horrible situation. I just want to say that I love my daughter and I will be happy when the truth comes out,” Antwon added.