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Internet adoption twins to stay in care

Kilshaws
The Kilshaws say their battle for custody is just beginning  

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The twin babies bought for adoption over the Internet in the U.S. are to remain in council care, a British court has ruled.

A judge sitting at the High Court in Birmingham said the twins would remain where they are, pending research into what was best for them.

Mr. Justice Kirkwood said: "It has become perfectly clear to me that in order to get the right solution, some impartial, responsible research needs to be done."

Social welfare authorities in North Wales had taken the twins away from Alan and Judith Kilshaw last week, after the couple formally adopted them in the U.S. and brought them home to Britain.

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the twins

CNN's Tom Mintier: "A ruling not to rule"

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mintier CNN's Tom Mintier on the court's decision
 
 REFERENCE
Internet adoptions Internet adoptions
  •  Offers abound on Web
  •  Web adoption pitfalls
  •  Q&A: UK court ruling
  •  Quick vote
 
Internet twins
The Kilshaws first appeared on a day-time TV chat show in the UK last week
Their story instantly became front page news
The twins were seized by social services and taken into care on Thursday
Now a court has decided to keep them in government care for the time being
The case prompted the UK government to order an urgent review of adoption law

The judge said the Kilshaws had given the court solemn undertakings not to discuss the case or any of the arrangements for the twins with anyone unconnected with the hearing.

He said that the case involved legal complexities "since it is not just English law that I have to consider, but the position also in one, two or perhaps three states of the United States of America".

He said after the hearing: "I am sure that everybody understands that this court's task is to do its best to find the right solution for the twins. It's their welfare that really matters in all of this."

The Kilshaws, who adopted Belinda and Kimberley from their birth-mother in Arkansas after paying 8,000 ($12,000) to a Californian Internet adoption agency, are contesting a decision by social welfare authorities to take the babies from them.

Social services officials in North Wales, where the Kilshaws live, took the twins from the couple last Thursday and were applying at the hearing to have them made wards of court.

The girls were taken from the Kilshaws under an emergency custody order, which was to have expired on January 26.

The Kilshaws arrived at the High Court hearing vowing to do everything they could to win back custody of Internet twins Belinda and Kimberley.

Mrs. Kilshaw, 47, said: "We are going to go for it. I am not giving up. We are fighting for everybody that have had children taken off them by the social service."

Meanwhile, the twins' natural mother, Tranda Wecker, repeated in an interview on television in the U.S. on Tuesday that she wanted the babies back.

Twins
Belinda and Kimberley are being looked after by foster parents  

Asked what had changed since she put the children up for adoption, she said: "I have a job. I have family and friends that will help me take care of my children. Me, as well as my children, miss their sister and I miss my girls very much."

Wecker's attorney, Gloria Allred, said a British attorney had represented the mother at the court hearing in Birmingham.

"We've also faxed them a letter yesterday letting them know that she would like to be a party, be told of the developments, she'd like to be able to visit and she'd like the return of her twins as soon as possible," Allred said.

Wecker had earlier said that had given up her twins "in the weakest moment of her life" and that she wants them back to "make up for all the hurt I've caused them."

The Kilshaws' adoption is also being challenged by a California couple, Richard and Vickie Allen, who say the girls were taken away while they were in the process of adopting them.

They claim they had paid $6,000 for the twins and had them for two months before being duped into handing them back. They also had a barrister in court asking that the twins be returned to the U.S.



RELATED STORIES:
U.S. parents' Web twins plea
January 20, 2001
The pitfalls of Internet adoption
January 18, 2001
Internet baby row deepens
January 18, 2001
Legal battle over Internet twins
January 17, 2001
FBI investigates adoption Web site
January 17, 2001
Couples fight for Internet twins
January 16, 2001

RELATED SITES:
Department of Health
Federal Bureau of Investigation
US Department of State
Flintshire County Council Social Services
British Agencies for Adoption & Fostering

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