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World at One Friday, 19 January, 2001, 15:27 GMT
Why were the twins taken into care?
twins
Kimberley, left, and Belinda: Tug-of-war over adoption
The internet adoption couple, Alan and Judith Kilshaw, are taking legal advice over the removal of the American twin girls, Belinda and Kimberley, by Social Services in North Wales.

Social services staff and police arrived at the hotel where the couple have been saying late yesterday evening.

Alan and Judith Kilshaw
The Kilshaws have vowed to keep the babies
But so far the authorities have offered no detailed explanation for their action.

The couple say that they believe the move could have been politically motivated.

Mrs Kilshaw said that she and her husband have become hate figures, and added that she is considering a future outside Britain.

Questions over adoption procedure

The Kilshaw's case will not have been helped by developments in the United States.

A senior judge in Arkansas, Ellen Brantley, questioned the validity of the adoption procedure which was carried out in the state.

Judge Brantley said that the birth mother, Tranda Wecker, might face legal action if it turned out she had lied about the time she'd lived in Arkansas.

The state requires 30 days residence before it will approve adoption.

She also told the BBC that she had received a call from social services in Flintshire asking for more information about the case.

Alan Levy QC, who specialises in child protection cases, told the World at One that doubts about the adoption procedure alone would not justify taking the children into care.

Social workers would have had to apply to a magistrate for an Emergency Protection Order, based on a fear that serious harm could be done to the children.

Mr Levy explained that the Order would run for eight days, and couldn't be challenged in law for the first 72 hours.

He expected that such a complex and disturbing case would probably end up in the Family Division of the High Court for an adjudication.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Child Protection Act specialist, Alan Levy QC
Likelihood of children suffering harm has to be proved when an emergency protection order is served
The twins' natural mothers' lawyer, Gloria Allred
"She wants what's best for them"
Senior US judge, Ellen Brantley
"This case makes me uncomfortable on a number of levels"
Links to more World at One stories are at the foot of the page.


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