On Thursday, the federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said Ann Pettway, 49, "willfully and knowingly" seized the child, reports CNN. Pettway turned herself in last month, FBI spokesman William Reiner said.
Currently being held without bail, Pettway is expected to enter a plea at a hearing scheduled for Feb. 24. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
According to court documents filed last month, Pettway admitted to taking the girl in 1987 after suffering several miscarriages. White became suspicious when Pettway could never produce her birth certificate or Social Security card.
The young woman solved the mystery of her background and tracked down her birth parents earlier this year, though in a recent interview, her mother, Joy White, said that she and her daughter, now 23, are again estranged.
The schism apparently developed after Carlina discovered her parents had gone through a $750,000 negligence settlement from Harlem Hospital.