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Couple of the Year Abandon Their Daughter But Claim She's an Adult with Dwarfism Who's Scammed Them

SourceA couple from Indiana is accused of ditching their adopted 10-year-old daughter and moving to Canada — but they claim the girl is actually an adult with dwarfism running a psychotic scam, according to reports. …

Kristine Barnett and her ex-husband Michael Barnett claimed to local station WISH-TV that Natalia, the girl they adopted from Ukraine in 2010, is a grownup and a diagnosed psychopath and sociopath.

At the time of the adoption, Kristine Barnett, 43, said she was told that Natalia, who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, was 8 years old.

But in 2012, she says she realized the adoption was a scam and got the girl’s age legally changed to 22 in an Indiana probate court.

Then, in July 2013, the couple set the girl up in an apartment in Tippecanoe County and moved to Canada with their two sons. …

Police found the girl the following year and she told them she “had not seen the Barnetts since they moved to Canada,” according to the docs.

After a five-year investigation, the couple were charged last week with two counts of neglect of a dependent. …

Because of the girl’s condition, it’s been difficult for doctors to determine her age. In June 2010, a doctor estimated her age at 8, but an evaluation in June 2012 showed the girl was about 11 years old, court documents said.

This is one of those rare instances where there is no middle ground. It’s like a salary arbitration where the arbitrator has only two options: Go with one figure or the other. There is no compromise. It’s binary. Either Kristine and Michael Barnett are the kinds of monsters who would adopt a girl only to ditch her and move to another country, or Natalia is the best scam artist of all time. Either they have no soul or she’s running the greatest long con in history.

I don’t know what’s harder, being 22 with dwarfism and passing yourself off as 8-years-old, or being 10 and passing for 22. Either way, that is method acting the likes of which we’ve never seen. Not even Gary Oldman in the greatest film ever made, “Tiptoes,” could pull that off. And he had an entire crew of make up artists, special effects wizards, Matthew McConaughy and Kate flippin Beckinsale to help with the illusion.

That one should win the Academy Award for Best Movie Ever.

Anyway, far be it for me to take sides, but I think I’ve got to be on Team Natalie on this one. Just putting myself in the Barnett’s shoes, if I suspected the child I adopted from an impoverished Eastern Bloc populated by tracksuited DJs, sex traffickers and Bond henchmen was actually an adult scam artist, I think I’d handle it differently than just dropping her off at a shelter like an unwanted Rescue Daughter we grew tired of and skip the country.

But that’s easy for me to say. Put me in a house with a “diagnosed psychopath and sociopath” who might be 10 or might be 22, and I’ll probably be calling the movers and learning to sing “O Canada” bilingually. All I know for sure is this is going to be one entertaining court case.