x
Breaking News
More () »

13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Charges dropped in alleged adoption scam case

Michael Barnett had faced neglect charges after investigators claimed he abandoned his adopted daughter Natalia Grace.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. — A man accused of abandoning his adopted under-aged daughter has had all charges against him dropped.

Michael Barnett had faced neglect charges after investigators claimed he abandoned his adopted daughter Natalia Grace.

The case made national headlines.

Barnett's attorney, Terrance Kinnard, motioned to dismiss six of the eight neglect charges against his client the Tippecanoe County prosecutor filed.

Kinnard argued Natalia pretended to be a child when Barnett and his then ex-wife adopted her. 

A Tippecanoe Superior Court judge found Barnett can't face neglect of a dependent charges when a previous judge ruled in court changing Natalia's minor age to an adult age based on her birth year.

Natalia Barnett sat down with Dr. Phil on Thursday's show. (Dr. Phil Show photo)

The same six neglect charges had already been dropped against the ex-wife, Christine Barnett.

Kinnard had insisted all along that his client and ex-wife are victims of an elaborate adoption scam that has left them emotionally scarred for life.

The remaining charges accused them of neglecting a person with a medical need. 

Natalia Grace has denied any wrongdoing and insists she was a child when the couple adopted her more than nine years ago.