This Morning viewers baffled as man claims adopted daughter, 6, was really an adult and tried to kill his family

14 October 2019, 11:53 | Updated: 4 November 2019, 15:05

Michael Barnett claims his adoptive daughter was a 22-year-old woman
Michael Barnett claims his adoptive daughter was a 22-year-old woman. Picture: ITV/Michael Barnett

A man appeared on This Morning today claiming a six-year-old girl he adopted turned out to be a 22-year-old woman.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield were left speechless today when Michael Barnett appeared on This Morning claiming his adoptive daughter tried to kill his family.

Michael, 43, and his now ex-wife Kristine, 45, - from Indiana, USA - thought they were adopting a six-year-old girl from Ukraine back in 2010.

But after bringing the girl home, the couple state that she began terrorising them and their three young sons, putting poison in their drinks, thumbtacks face up on the stairs and even waving a knife over their bed.

Michael claims Natalia is now a 30-year-old woman
Michael claims Natalia is now a 30-year-old woman. Picture: Michael and Kristine Barnett

Describing one particular incident, Michael told Holly, 38, and Phil, 57: “One night I woke up and Natalia was standing over my bed with a knife in her hand and a blank look on her face.”

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Michael then went on to say Natalia is not who she says she is, claiming medical professionals ruled she was actually a 22-year-old adult.

Natalia has a rare form of dwarfism which means it has been difficult for doctors to determine her actual age.

But Michael claimed that a court ruling led them to believe she was born in 1989.

Holly and Phil interviewed Michael Barnett on This Morning today
Holly and Phil interviewed Michael Barnett on This Morning today. Picture: ITV

And This Morning viewers were horrified by the story, with one writing on Twitter: “Watching @thismorning like OMG! Any parent's worst nightmare!! Makes me feel scared and it wasn't me in that situation #horrifying #dreadful”.

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“@thismorning a story like that needed more time!!!!!!!,” said another.

While many also compared it to something out of a film, with a third writing: “That adoption story Sounds like a horror film scary.”

While presenters Holly and Phil were forced to hurry the complicated story along, Michael and Kristine are now being charged with neglect after leaving Natalia in a flat in the US city of Lafayette, while they moved to Canada.

Prosecutors claim she is a child and was left to fend for herself when the Barnetts moved away, but Michael says she is now a 30-year-old woman and was more than capable of living on her own.

Speaking to the father-of-three, Holly said: “Natalia’s biological mother has come out and said she is 16 now, not 30 and in a twist to the story you could end up going to prison.”

But Michael responded: “I don’t believe this is going to happen, Natalia has been ruled to be a fully grown adult three times, so why are the police charging me with such things?”