Indiana News

AG asks Indiana Supreme Court to take Barnett adoption neglect case

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP/WISH) — The Indiana attorney general’s office wants the state’s highest court to take up a case involving a former couple accused of abandoning their adopted daughter.

The office is requesting that the Indiana Supreme Court reverse an appeals court decision in Michael and Kristine Barnett’s cases.

They were charged in 2019 with neglect of a dependent for allegedly leaving their daughter Natalia in an apartment in July of 2013.

They adopted the girl — Natalia Barnett — in 2010.

A doctor estimated her age as 8, but in 2012, the couple legally changed her age to 22.

Michael and Kristine Barnett claimed that Natalia Barnett posed a threat to their family and called her adoption a “scam,” saying that she was an adult the entire time.

Now, the attorney general’s office wants the state’s high court to reverse an August decision found the Barnetts can’t be prosecuted for neglect of a dependent based on their adopted daughter’s age.

In 2019, Natalia Barnett appeared on Dr. Phil for an interview.

In the interview, Barnett denied being an adult, as her adopted parents claimed, and described the moment she found out that 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.”