The Mother of the Ukrainian Orphan Who Is Actually Maybe an Adult Says She Is Definitely a Child

Illustration for article titled The Mother of the Ukrainian Orphan Who Is Actually Maybe an Adult Says She Is Definitely a Child
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

Just in time for Halloween, there is a new twist in the story of Natalia Barnett, the six-year-old Ukranian orphan who may or may not actually be a mentally disturbed adult posing as child. What is this twist, you ask? Well, her birth mother says she is indeed a child, in which case the real horror stems from the adoptive parents who orchestrated this whole charade.


The Daily Mail says they found Natalia’s birth mother, Anna Volodymyrivna Gava, a 40-year-old Ukrainian woman who says she had to give Natalia up for adoption because the baby had severe disabilities.

“‘I know exactly how old she is,” she said, through an interpreter. “This girl is my daughter who was born 16 years ago.”

That certainly puts a damper on the story being shopped around by Kristine and Michael Barnett, who claim Natalia is actually a 30-year-old adult sociopath. The Barnetts are accused of abandoning Natalia when they moved to Canada recently, a crime they’d be cleared of if Natalia were, in fact, an adult. But Gava says that’s not so.

Per the Daily Mail:

‘Doctors told me to leave the baby: “Leave her, don’t ruin your life”, they said. Both them and my mom told me to leave her.

‘They said the baby would never be good, that she would never be able to move, that she would be chained to a chair or to a bed.’

It seems Gava is not all that happy with the Barnetts, and if her story is true, then rightfully so:

Anna continued: ‘She now lives in America with adoptive parents who want to ditch her. I thought everything was okay with her and it turned out that it’s not all okay.’

She added: ‘I’ve learnt that they tried to put her in a mental facility twice, that she wanted to poison, to kill someone. That’s what I read on Viber, I was sent it, and photos of her parents.’


Natalia now lives with a reportedly nice family in Indiana, where she hopefully has a good (pediatric!) therapist.




Honestly I’m disappointed in Jezebel that you continue to exploit an adoptive, disabled child who’s been through shit by willingly not following up on the full story, and instead going with the Daily Mail clickbait. There were enough legit sources of info in the comment sections last time that you can’t claim ignorance. You ARE the reason people think she is an adult.

Do. Your. Research. Stand up for the people who can’t stand up for themselves.

Or you know, try to make click money off of them :)  ;)