US couple reveal nightmare ordeal when their 'adopted' 3-yr-old boy was snatched from their home by Kenyan authorities
An American couple from the Seattle area who have been living in Kenya is claiming that a government agency has abducted a three-year-old boy who they legally adopted and who has been in their care since he was an infant.
According to the Daily Mail, Daisy and Matt Mazzoncini have launched a global campaign to raise awareness about their plight and for the return of their 'son,' three-year-old Kiano, after he was forcefully taken from their home in Nairobi on April 5 by several plainclothes police officers.
Their situation is a complicated one.
Daisy first met Kiano while she was volunteering at the Mogra Children's Center in Nairobi in the summer of 2016 when he was a six-month-old child weighing just nine pounds. He had been found abandoned along with his twin, who unfortunately did not survive.
It was Daisy who began paying the medical bills for the treatments he received for pneumonia and a chest deformity, and a year later, she and Matt officially became the young boy's legal guardians.
They were made the legal guardians of Kiano by the Children's Court of Kenya in 2017.
However, they immediately found themselves involved in a standoff with the Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK), a semiautonomous government agency, because of the strict policies surrounding foreign adoptions that were put in place following the US Department of State's Trafficking in Persons Report 2014 which put Kenya on a watchlist of countries that has significant human trafficking.
The country has a ban on non-Kenyans adopting Kenyan children and taking them abroad, and while the couple decided to stay in Nairobi to ensure no problems with the law, they wanted to take Kiano to the US so he could see a specialist for his severe health problems.
They requested permission for the same from the Children's Court of Kenya, only to see CWSK intervene and accuse them of child trafficking despite the pair offering to let an agency representative accompany them on the trip.
The CEO of CWSK subsequently requested the court to reject their petition for a US visit, revoke their guardianship, and then grant custody of Kiano to them. The culmination of their battle came this past April when 13 police officers in plainclothes with no identification and no warrants stormed into their homes and took the three-year-old away.
The couple accused the CWSK of influencing the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in "unlawfully abducting" Kiano, and while the former has denied any involvement in the incident, a now-deleted tweet by the DCI where they bragged they had "rescued" the child and that he was now "well & in safe hands [sic]" seems to indicate otherwise.
The Mazzoncinis filed a writ of habeas corpus in the criminal division of the High Court of Kenya demanding that the welfare agency return Kiano to their custody, but have recently come out to complain that the hearings keep getting rescheduled because the judge does not show up.
They have set up a social media page called "Savebabyk" to share daily updates on the case and generate enough traction to pressure the Kenyan government, and have said they are concerned for their son's welfare because of his health conditions.
The Mazzoncinis' announced that their next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15.