US-based man claims wife took away child during visit to Kenya

The court directed that the legal custody of the minors shall jointly vest in the man and woman. [iStockphoto]

A Kenyan based in the US is fighting for custody of his child after alleging that his wife escaped with the minor.

The man claims that the woman ran away with their two-year-old son. He claims that attempts to see the minor have been frustrated by the woman’s family, who have refused to recognise him as the child’s father.

“My wife hoodwinked me to come for vacation in Kenya only to realise that it was a plan she had with her family to separate me from my child. We have held several meetings with families, village elders and a pastor to resolve the dispute but her family has refused,” he told the court.

According to the court papers, the couple, who cannot be named for the sake of the minor’s confidentiality, married in June 2019, and the baby was born in September 2021. The applicant says they have been residing in North Carolina until January this year when they travelled to Kenya for a vacation.

While in Kenya, they agreed that the wife would take the child to see her family for two weeks.

“However, when I went to pick them up to see my family as agreed, her family refused. They were extremely hostile to me and refused to take the gifts I bought for them. This forced me to extend my stay in Kenya in an attempt to resolve the dispute but they refused,” he says.

The man says he was forced to return to the US alone because of work obligations, and upon inquiry, he realised that the wife had changed the birth records of the child.

He also discovered that the woman had secretly relocated to Texas and left the child in Kenya with her mother. However, the mother claims that it is the man who abandoned them after they came to Kenya.

In her response, she says after they arrived, he took them at her rural home in Kisii and secretly travelled back to the US only to come back to claim custody of the child.

“He is the one who dumped us at my mother’s home in Kisii and went back to the US without communication. His claim for the child’s custody is premised on untruths and distortion of facts,” she argues.

According to her, it was the man’s family in Kitale that forced her out after they met her with hostility upon their arrival in Kenya.

She claims the man has tormented her, leading to their separation, and that it is in the interest of the child that she be given custody.

While admitting that she left the child under her mother’s custody when she travelled back to the US, the woman accuses the man of refusing to surrender the child’s travelling documents.

When he appeared before the court yesterday, the man presented an order from a US district court granting him temporary custody of the child and allowing him to travel back with the child from Kenya.