DNA and dental records confirm orphan Natalia Graces true age

DNA and dental records confirm orphan Natalia Grace’s true age – HuffPost

The second season of a documentary series answers the question of whether a Ukrainian orphan was actually an adult who pretended to be a child to deceive her adoptive parents, who persuaded a judge to lower her legal age from 9 to 22 to change because they claimed she had terrorized her family.

In “Natalia Speaks,” the second season of Investigation Discovery's 2023 blockbuster “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace,” DNA analysis, dental records and an endocrinologist's evaluation are offered as evidence of Natalia Grace Barnett's true age.

According to health and science experts, Natalia was actually a child in 2012 when Michael and Kristine Barnett asked an Indiana court to change the date of her birth certificate from 2003 to 1989. Shortly afterwards, the couple moved to Canada with their three biological sons. Natalia, who suffers from a form of dwarfism, has to make ends meet in apartments they have rented for her in Indiana.

Open Image ModalNatalia Grace in the second season of the documentary series “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks”.

An endocrinologist who examined Natalia in 2010 estimated her age at 9 to 11 years old.

A dentist who reviewed her X-rays from his 2011 exam for Natalia Speaks pointed out that she still had 12 baby teeth at the time and called the results “indisputable.” Kristine Barnett, he said, left the consultation documenting his determination that she was 8 to 9 years old.

And the filmmakers were there when Natalia received the results of a recent epigenetic DNA test that determined she is now no older than 22, making it clear she was a child when she was adopted by the family nearly twelve years ago was abandoned.

“This little piece of paper,” Natalia said, holding up the page with the DNA results, “throws every single lie the Barnetts have said right into the trash with a match.”

The first season of the docuseries, which aired in July, investigated the bizarre claims by the Barnetts (who later divorced) that Natalia had posed as a child to hide an alleged murderous intent. As Natalia points out in season two, her accusations – that she poisoned Kristine Barnett's coffee with cleaning fluid, pushed her against an electric fence, stood by the sleeping couple's bed with a knife and threw her brothers' toys onto the street in hope has that the boys would be run over – paralleling the story of “The Orphan”, a horror film that premiered in 2009, a year before the Barnetts adopted Natalia.

Open image ModalNatalia Grace when she lived with the Barnetts.

It remains unclear why a probate judge would base the decision to change Natalia's age solely on the Barnetts' accounts and a formula based on the finding that she has not grown for two years.

Natalia wasn't at the hearing – and didn't know it was happening, she says in the second season. The title “Natalia Speaks” refers to the fact that she was not heard from in “The Curious Case” except in home videos and filmed testimony, as she was bound by a gag order.

Both Michael and Kristine Barnett were charged with neglect, however Michael Barnett was acquitted by a jury in October 2022 and the charges against Kristine were later dropped. The trial court ruled that evidence regarding Natalia's age and adoption could not be heard at trial due to statute of limitations laws, but it was later publicly released by local prosecutors.

Natalia hints at the possibility that she will file civil lawsuits against the Barnetts for abuse and neglect. The final episode of “Natalia Speaks” documents her adoption as an adult in June 2023 by Antwon and Cynthia Mans, a couple who took her in after seeing the apartment where she lived alone after the Barnetts moved to Canada .

“This adoption will sort of pave the way for anything you want to do legally in the future,” Natalia’s attorney Peter Kenny said in a meeting before the adoption. “Because the evidence will speak for itself.”

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