IN- Couple charged with abandonment of adopted child after legally changing her age

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by j_in_c, Sep 13, 2019 at 11:45 AM.

  1. j_in_c

    j_in_c Well-Known Member

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    This is a very bizarre story out of Indiana. There are several MSM sources covering it today:

    Excerpt from
    Prosecutors: Couple abandons child in Lafayette, changes her age, flees to Canada

    LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A couple has been charged in a years-long investigation, accused of abandoning a girl in a Lafayette apartment and then leaving for Canada. Prosecutors say Michael and Kristine Barnett also legally changed the Ukranian girl's presumed age from 8-years-old to 22-years-old.

    In the comments section a woman claims her daughter encountered the unnamed, abandoned child and assisted her. The charges have apparently been many years in the making and the couple is now divorced (see article below for parents response to charges).

    Parents accused of abandoning adopted child in apartment; mom says it’s a ‘scam’
     
  2. Laughing

    Laughing Rarely Speechless

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    Bizarre story! On another thread, another child adopted from overseas was living with another family -- and was a murder victim!
     
  3. j_in_c

    j_in_c Well-Known Member

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    Stories of overseas adoptions gone awry really tug at my heartstrings. It should be a dream opportunity to have access to education and health resources and most importantly, a loving home. I am glad in this case it sounds like the girl has been taken in by others - but I am glad to see the adoptive "parents" being called to account for their horrible treatment of this child.
     
  4. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    hmmmmm ... I think the 'girl' may actually be an adult

    News 8 reached out to Kristine on Facebook. She claimed to not know about the charges, said the situation with the girl was “complicated” and claimed the girl was diagnosed as both a psychopath and sociopath.

    She said the adoption was a “scam” and the girl is actually an adult and has been an adult the entire time she’s known her, but refused to provide additional details.

    Parents accused of abandoning adopted child in apartment; mom says it’s a ‘scam’
     
  5. j_in_c

    j_in_c Well-Known Member

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    That same article also states (BBM):
    Court documents say the couple had adopted the girl three years earlier in 2010, two years after she came from Ukraine through a different adoption process. Beyond that, it’s unclear how she made it to the United States and if the Barnetts had anything to do with it.

    Medical records in 2010 show a doctor estimated her age to be 8 years old.

    Court documents show that in 2012, the girl’s age was legally changed from 8 to 22 in an Indiana probate court, a process which is unclear. It’s the same year a skeletal survey at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital estimated her age to be 11 years old.

    The girl has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, which could make an exact age difficult to determine.

    According to court documents, Michael admitted he believed the girl to be a minor when he and Kristine left the country.



    From reading through the comments and other sources (not MSM so not linking here), I think it may be the mother who has issues, not the adopted child. It will be interesting to see what the court finds. Having read some articles on "rehoming" - I think the US needs stricter rules for people who think they are capable of adopting an older child from a foreign country.
     
    Subiechik21, kimpage, Alcina and 5 others like this.
  6. kaen

    kaen Trying to be a good human.

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    It seems, given the parents, that this is going to get very convoluted and complicated. A search of this family does yield quite a bit.
     
  7. kaen

    kaen Trying to be a good human.

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    According to some news accounts, the child was not adopted in the Ukraine but rather here after being in the US for two years. This should also become an issue.

    "Court documents say the couple had adopted the girl three years earlier in 2010, two years after she came from Ukraine through a different adoption process. Beyond that, it’s unclear how she made it to the United States and if the Barnetts had anything to do with it." Parents accused of abandoning adopted child in apartment; mom says it’s a ‘scam’
     
  8. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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  9. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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  10. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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  11. Minou

    Minou Concerned Citizen of the World

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    @gitana1 is this the same woman? I couldn’t figure it out.

    Never mind just looked at the Facebook page wow
     
  12. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    It is.

    And it looks like she posts for her adult son's social media (although I found he has another one of his own).

    But this is bizarre.
     
  13. AgeofAquaruis

    AgeofAquaruis Well-Known Member

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  14. AgeofAquaruis

    AgeofAquaruis Well-Known Member

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    Subiechik21, Minou, kimpage and 4 others like this.
  15. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    The quote was broken so I fixed it in this.
     
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  16. AgeofAquaruis

    AgeofAquaruis Well-Known Member

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    If it was indeed a scam. Why didn't she mention any of this in her "I'm Super Mom" Books?
     
  17. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    ETA: I was wrong! [To be fair, that was before adoption from what I can tell.] But read the reviews.

    People are noting there is no way she could be providing her severely disabled son with constant intervention/therapy/care, keeping vigil on her younger son who she claimed had some life threatening illness, from what I saw, opening some sort of center for boys with autism and running an inhome daycare.

    Someone sounds like a big liar to me.

    If the adoptee was really over age I'm betting she knew it. But capitalizing on it failed.

    But I don't know how doctors would make such a mistake. And how did she get the legal age changed? Wouldn't they need a doctor's report?
     
  18. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    I got the dates wrong when I replied before. Hmm. Interesting that she didn't mention her at all?
     
  19. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    Possible Timeline:

    2008 - child is brought here from Ukraine through an adoption process.

    2008 - Doctors estimate her age as 8 years old.

    2010- child is adopted by the Barnetts. Not sure what happened to the first adoption.

    2012 - skeletal survey shows child's age to be 11. (This matches with the first doctor finding)

    2012 - Barnetts legally change the child's age to 22 in a probate court process. (How they acquired evidence for this change we do not know).

    2013 - 4-9-13 The Spark memoir is published. (There is apparently no mention of the adopted daughter in the book but I have no idea what time range it spans). Mother immediately starts and intensive publicity tour.

    2013 - in July, the Barnetts rent an apartment in Laffayette for the child and leave her there. They pay the rent on the place but it's not sure for how long? It seems like through 2016.

    2014 - the Barnetts divorce.

    2016 - 2-28-16, kid moves out of the county.

    2016- @3-13-16, another person or persons apply to be her guardian.
    The Barnetts object to the petition citing an age issue.

    2018 - the people who filed the petition for guardianship withdraw their petition. (Note the child would be 17 or 18 by then so maybe no need).
     
  20. coastal

    coastal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the links.

    The Time magazine article about her son was published 3/26/11.
     

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