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Snatched baby was close to adoption
A missing baby was on the verge of being adopted when his 17-year-old mother abducted him during a supervised visit.
Rachel McKenzie Katz was aware she was down to her last couple of visits with her 18-month-old son, Kaynen, when she took the baby from the Jewish Family and Child Service in the Promenade Mall near Bathurst St. and Hwy. 7 on Monday, said Howard Hurwitz, director of child welfare services.
"Kaynen was going to be put in a permanent adoptive home," Hurwitz said yesterday at York Regional Police 4 District headquarters. "We recognized we needed to decrease the number of visits and help both Kaynen and his mother with moving forward with reduced contact because ultimately the contact was going to cease."
Hurwitz said McKenzie Katz, whose identity has been temporarily released despite her age in order to help police with the search, had been reduced from two to three visits per week down to one and she had no more than two scheduled visits left.
She showed no signs that she was planning to abduct her biological son at any time during the visit, Hurwitz said.
Kaynen has been in the custody of the Jewish Family and Child Service almost since birth but he wasn't made a ward of the JFCS and eligible for adoption until a court order in March, Hurwitz said.
McKenzie Katz had said she was going to appeal.
Police said they are concerned for Kaynen's well-being. They were last seen in the Davenport and Symington Rds. area.
"Because of her upbringing and her going through foster home to foster home when she was a young girl, she did not have great parenting skills and this child is in need of protection," Det.-Sgt. Angelo De Lorenzi said.
'SHE IS NOT FIT'
"And the court has made the determination she is not fit to be a mother."
Pam Katz yesterday disputed earlier reports that her granddaughter was working in the sex trade.
"It (the sex trade) had nothing at all to do with the baby being taken away," Katz said. "She was a 15-year-old doing 15-year-old things."