The Curious Case of Natalia Grace Ending Explained, Decoding the Finale
by Aishwarya R
Updated Jun 02, 2023
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace
A new docuseries titled The Curious Case of Natalia Grace is set to premiere on May 29, delving into a perplexing tale of international adoption gone awry. The three-episode series, presented by Investigation Discovery (ID), explores the extraordinary account of the Barnett family, who adopted a girl from Ukraine, only to later claim that she was an adult pretending to be a child.
Interestingly, the plot of ID's docuseries bears a striking resemblance to the 2009 horror thriller film Orphan, featuring Isabelle Fuhrman, Vera Farmiga, and Peter Sarsgaard. It is believed that the true events surrounding Natalia Grace, which inspired The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, were in turn inspired by a similar case involving Barbora Skrlová.
Jason Sarlanis, the President of Turner Networks, ID & Hln, Linear & Streaming, expressed excitement about the upcoming docuseries, stating, "This year, we've witnessed resounding success with our phenomenal lineup of documentary events, and The Curious Case of Natalia Grace is our next must-watch television limited series.
Following the stranger-than-fiction journey of Natalia and her family through a lens that hasn't been seen before, this gripping content is a great addition to our catalog of blockbuster titles that make ID the ultimate destination for true crime." With its intriguing parallels to a popular film and promises to provide a unique perspective on the remarkable tale, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace is poised to captivate audiences seeking a deeper understanding of this complex adoption narrative.
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace Ending Explained
The Barnetts eventually had Natalia's legal age changed and left her behind when they relocated to a different country. They made disturbing accusations against her before departing. The couple faced charges of child neglect but were ultimately acquitted, while Natalia was adopted by another family in Indiana. According to Michael Barnett, by the end of 2012, the family came to the realization that they had been living with someone they considered to be a sociopath and decided to investigate Natalia's true age.
They filed a motion in Marion County Court in Indiana, seeking to have her age legally corrected to a more appropriate designation. Legal expert Beth Karas explains that an attorney prepared a petition, presenting arguments as to why Natalia's stated age was inaccurate and asserting that she was actually an adult.
The judge, faced with the ambiguity of her age, devised a unique formula based on the fact that Natalia had not experienced any growth in four years. The judge concluded that if she had ceased growing at 18, and four additional years had passed, she must have been at least 22 when she entered the Barnetts' lives. Thus, Natalia was officially declared to be 22 years old.
Natalia was then issued a new birth certificate with a revised date of birth—September 4, 1989—and was provided with a new Indiana identification card. Michele Jackson, Barnett's attorney for the re-aging process, explains that the decision was based on substantial documentation and evaluations by medical professionals who examined the available evidence. While re-aging in adoption cases is not uncommon, Karas finds the extent of the change in Natalia's age rather perplexing.
She acknowledges that a couple of years might be adjusted to make a child more appealing to prospective adoptive families, but a leap of 14 years, from 8 to 22, seems implausible. The documentary takes an intriguing turn when an investigator tracks down Natalia's biological mother, Anna Gava, in Ukraine in 2020.
Gava expresses frustration over the prolonged saga surrounding her daughter, suggesting that Natalia may have been a child at the time of her adoption, as Gava has consistently claimed Natalia was born in 2003. The complexity of Natalia's age and the conflicting accounts add further layers of mystery to the story, leaving viewers and investigators to contemplate the truth behind her true birth year.
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace Plot
The documentary Curious Case of Natalia features interviews with family members, former neighbors, and friends, shedding light on the unusual circumstances surrounding Natalia's age. In April 2010, an interesting event unfolded when Michael and Kristine Barnett, a couple from Florida, decided to adopt a child named Natalia from Ukraine. The couple embarked on an emergency adoption process under the impression that they were bringing home a 6-year-old girl.
However, as time went on, they started to harbor concerns about Natalia's behavior, which they believed indicated that she might not be a child at all, but rather an adult with a specific type of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal (SEDc). SEDc is a rare genetic disorder that primarily affects the spine and long bones of the arms and legs, resulting in short stature and skeletal anomalies.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia provides detailed information about this condition. According to the couple, Natalia exhibited troubling and aggressive behavior while living with them, prompting them to worry about the safety of their three biological children. They claimed that Natalia even attempted to harm the family by trying to stab them while they were asleep.
In a chilling account, one of the Barnett sons expressed feeling unsafe around Natalia, and Michael recounted waking up to the alarming sight of Natalia standing at the foot of their bed, brandishing a knife. In a 2019 interview on Good Morning America, Michael made startling claims, stating that doctors had labeled Natalia as a sociopath and a con artist, and had warned the family that they were all in danger.
The story surrounding Natalia's adoption and the subsequent concerns raised by the Barnett family certainly leaves one curious about the true nature of the situation and the complexities involved.
The Curious Case of Natalia Episodes
Episode 01: Orphan or Imposter? (29th May 2023)
The Barnetts adopt Natalia, a supposed six-year-old orphan from Ukraine. However, they begin to question the authenticity of her background, fearing that they may have unknowingly invited an adult into their home with malicious intentions.
Episode 02: Meet the Barnetts (30th May 2023)
The Barnetts adopt Natalia, who is believed to be a six-year-old Ukrainian orphan. However, doubts arise as they discover inconsistencies in her age and nationality. Growing increasingly suspicious, the Barnetts come to realize that they may have welcomed an unknown adult into their home.
Episode 03: Victim or Villain? (30th May 2023)
The Barnetts' adoption of Natalia, an alleged 6-year-old Ukrainian orphan, turns into a nightmare when they suspect that she may not be who she claims to be. As their suspicions mount, they realize they may have an adult stranger living in their home.
Episode 04: Nightmare Neighbor (31st May 2023)
Natalia, now living alone and legally aged as an adult, causes chaos in her new apartment by engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior and stalking the residents. Additionally, the Barnetts' true sinister nature comes to light as they face an investigation by social services regarding Natalia.
Episode 05: Barnett vs. Barnett (31st May 2023)
Michael's trial continues, and he turns against his former wife. Meanwhile, a crucial ruling by the judge could significantly impact his case. As Michael awaits his fate, a mysterious witness emerges with information that could affect both the Barnetts.
Episode 06: Punch or Be Punched (2nd June 2023)
In this episode, Michael faces the consequences of his actions toward Natalia as his trial begins. At the same time, Kristine's trial approaches, adding to the mounting tension.
Where to Watch The Curious Case of Natalia Grace?
The Curious Case of Natalia is streaming on Discovery+. To watch this series, Go to the official Discovery+ website using your web browser. If you already have a Discovery+ account, simply log in using your credentials. If you're new to Discovery+, you'll need to create an account by providing the required information and following the sign-up process.
Discovery+ offers different subscription plans with varying features. Select the plan that suits your preferences and budget. Be sure to review the details of each plan before making your choice. Once you're logged in, use the search function on the Discovery+ platform to find "The Curious Case of Natalia." You can either type the title directly into the search bar or browse through the available series and documentaries.
Click on the series title or thumbnail to access "The Curious Case of Natalia" page. On the series page, you will find the individual episodes listed. Click on the episode you want to watch, and it will begin playing on your device. Discovery+ offers various features such as creating watchlists, accessing exclusive content, and enjoying personalized recommendations. Take advantage of these features to enhance your viewing experience.
Where is Natalia Grace Now?
In 2013, an intriguing development unfolded when the Barnett family relocated to Canada, leaving their adopted daughter Natalia behind in a rental apartment in Lafayette, Indiana. Despite their subsequent divorce, Michael and Kristine maintained their assertions regarding Natalia's true age.
Interestingly, in 2012, the couple had filed a petition with the Marion County Probate Court to legally change Natalia's birth year from 2003 to 1989. However, this decision led them to face charges in the state of Indiana. In September 2019, both parents were charged with multiple counts of neglect.
Michael faced various charges, including neglect of a dependent, neglect of a dependent causing bodily injury, neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury, and conspiracy to neglect a dependent. However, in February 2022, four counts of neglect against Michael were dismissed. Subsequently, he underwent a trial in October 2022, where he was ultimately found not guilty.
Charges against Kristine were also dropped in March 2023, shortly before her scheduled trial. As of now, Natalia Grace still appears to be residing in Indiana and is alive today. In November 2019, she even made an appearance on the Dr. Phil show, accompanied by the Mans family who had taken her in when she was placed in the apartment.
Antwon and Cynthia Mans spoke alongside Natalia during the interview, expressing their lack of concerns about her well-being. Cynthia explained that they had other children and a grandson, and Natalia's interactions with them were filled with love for her siblings and nephew.
Interestingly, three years later, Natalia testified during Michael's trial in October 2022, expressing her desire to be with the Barnetts and live with them, shedding light on her perspective and desires in the complex situation. The case continues to raise curiosity due to the intricate dynamics and evolving circumstances surrounding Natalia and the Barnett family.
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace Ending Explained - FAQs
The Curious Case of Natalia is a six-part series that delves into the story of the Barnetts and their adoption of Natalia, an alleged Ukrainian orphan. The series explores the mysterious circumstances surrounding Natalia's age, identity, and the events that unfolded after her adoption.
You can watch the entire series The Curious Case of Natalia on Discovery+. Simply visit the official Discovery+ website and sign up for a subscription to access the series.
The Curious Case of Natalia consists of six episodes in total. Each episode provides further insight into the complex and intriguing story of Natalia and the Barnetts.
Availability may vary depending on your region. It's advisable to check if Discovery+ is available in your country or region before attempting to access the series.
Currently, The Curious Case of Natalia is exclusively available on Discovery+. It may not be accessible on other streaming platforms. To watch the series, you would need to subscribe to Discovery+ or check if any other platforms in your region have acquired the rights to stream it.