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Adopted daughter at center of Indiana neglect case speaks to Dr. Phil

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The adopted daughter at the center of a neglect case in Indiana that made international headlines is telling her side of the story for the first time.

Natalia Barnett appeared on Dr. Phil Thursday for an interview.

Her adopted parents, Kristine and Michael Barnett, are currently charged with neglect and accused of abandoning her in a Lafayette apartment in July of 2013.

Until now, News 8 has not reported Natalia’s name because of questions about her age.

Back in 2012 a Marion County judge legally changed her age from eight to 22. That would make her nearly 30 years old now.

But Natalia says that’s not true. She says she is 16 years old.

Michael and Kristine Barnett have said Natalia posed a threat to their family and have called Natalia’s adoption a scam, saying she was an adult all along.

Natalia denies those allegations and described the moment she found out she was going to be left behind.

“They just said we’re going to get you an apartment and we’re going to Canada,” said Natalia. “I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t really know what was going on at first until it happened. I was confused.”

A gag order is currently in place for Kristine and Michael Barnett. Last week that order was expanded to include Natalia.

The jury trial for Michael and Kristine Barnett is scheduled for January 28 in Tippecanoe County.

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