Who is Natalia Grace's biological mother?

'The Curious Case of Natalia Grace' is making headlines - here's what we know about her biological mother

natalia grace
(Image credit: ID)

The story of Natalia Grace and the Barnett family has been garnering a lot of attention from curious fans - but one of the biggest questions folks are wondering is who is Natalia's biological mother? Here's what we know...

ID's most recent true crime docu-series, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, has been attracting viewers for the past week since its debut on Monday, May 29, 2023. The series follows the story of Natalia Grace and her adoptive family, The Barnetts - and the original series was so popular that Natalia has agreed to share her side of the story in a separate documentary from ID that will air later this month. 

The family adopted Natalia Grace, who was thought to be a 6-year-old orphan from Ukraine with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia - a rare bone growth disorder that can result in skeletal abnormalities - in 2010. 

The Barnetts claimed that over the years, Natalia was persistently trying to harm the members of the family - and they began to suspect that she was older than her age. For their safety, they set her up to live on her own in an apartment in Indiana, and as a result, were tried with counts of child neglect.

One question that's been burning on folks' minds since the series premiered - since it's not touched on too much in the docu-series - is who is Natalia's biological mother, does she know Natalia's real age, and where is Natalia Grace now? 

Here's what we know...

Who is Natalia Grace's biological mother?

In order to determine Natalia's "true age," investigators working on the series visited Ukraine in search of her biological mother. The series revealed that, while on a visit to Ukraine they matched Anna Volodymyrivna Gava to Natalia with a DNA test, determining that Anna and Natalia were a “99.999% match."

In the series, the mother revealed that she was born in Latvia on April 20, 1979 - which would now make her 44 years old. She led a private life after Natalia was adopted by the Barnetts.

natalia grace

(Image credit: ID/Michael Barnett)

What has Natalia's mother said about her?

In an interview with Daily Mail TV, Anna insisted that Natalia’s birthday was September 3, 2003, making Natalia's claims about her age true. She revealed that, although she gave Natalia up for adoption because she couldn't attend to her physical disability at the time, she wishes could have afforded to give Natalia the surgery she needed, which would have cost her about $100,000 ($80,000). 

"I didn't initially want to leave her, but the doctors said there is nothing you could do for her. 'You are young,' they said, 'You are 24 years old. Don't ruin your life, you will have other children," Anna said. 

In the same interview, she tearfully said she misses Natalia deeply and yearns for her to return home. 

"Daughter, forgive me for what happened 16 years ago. Visit soon for me to see you," she said. "We are waiting for you. You have two sisters and two brothers."

Anna still lives in Ukraine with Natalia's siblings.

Where is Natalia Grace now?

The Barnetts legally requested an age change for Natalia in 2012 when her birth certificate stated that she was 8 years old. The judge in the Barnett's court case ruled her to be 22 years old in 2012, which would make her 33 years old now if his guesstimate was true - despite Anna's claims. 

Regardless of true age, Natalia Grace is alive and still seemingly lives in Indiana - but we'll likely find out more when she tells her side of events later this summer from ID's follow-up documentary. 

Madeline Merinuk
US Lifestyle News Writer

Madeline Merinuk is woman&home's US lifestyle news writer, covering celebrity, entertainment, fashion, and beauty news.

She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University, winning multiple student journalism awards, including a National Hearst Award, during her time there. After graduating, she worked at today.com, the digital site for the Today Show, where she wrote pop culture news and interviewed big-name personalities like Emily Ratajkowski, Haley Lu Richardson, Emma Corrin, and more.

Her personal interests, in no particular order, are: cheese, Joni Mitchell, reading, hot yoga, traveling, having multiple chapsticks in every handbag at all times, and dancing to ABBA songs as if she were in the Mamma Mia movies.