BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 9 April, 2001, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Kilshaws: Paying a high price
The Kilshaws arrive at court
The Kilshaws went public with their fight
As a judge rules on the fate of the twins at the centre of an internet adoption row, we profile the British couple at the centre of the saga.

Alan and Judith Kilshaw, of Buckley in north Wales, wanted another baby so badly they paid 8,200 to adopt American twins - and then went public with their story in January.

The twins
The twins at the centre of the tug-over-war
It was a tale that seemed too bizarre to be true, and the international media descended to hear more from the all-too-willing pair.

Not only did they tell of an internet baby broker, rival would-be parents and a cross-country car chase, the 40-something couple themselves cut quite an unconventional dash.

They were alleged to have courted Hollywood to sell their story - a claim the couple strenuously deny. They were also said to have spoken of ghosts inhabiting their rural retreat.

Yet their openness badly backfired when, two days later, the local county council issued an emergency protection order and took the twins into care.


They have talked themselves into a bottomless hole

Max Clifford
There has been much public criticism of the Kilshaws, in part fuelled by their high media profile.

PR guru Max Clifford has since volunteered his services free of charge to, he says, help the couple make the best of a bad situation. His advice? Say nothing more.

"I have made it very clear they have talked themselves into a bottomless hole, and if they continue to spout off it's going to get bigger and bigger," he has said.

Larger-than-life

Judith and Alan Kilshaw, who were married eight years ago, have two sons, seven-year-old James and Rupert, aged four.

Alan Kilshaw in London
Alan Kilshaw: Said to be courting Hollywood
They share a 300-year-old converted farmhouse a few miles outside the Flintshire town of Buckley.

Alan, 45, is a specialist housing solicitor and generally plays the more articulate and considered foil to his wife's wounded outpourings.

Formerly a member of the Conservative party - "[I] became disillusioned when they ousted Mrs Thatcher" - he is a founding member of the far-right Democratic Party. The small party, oddly, takes a hard line against immigration.

Judith, 47, who assists with her husband's business, says the furore over the adoption has made her the "most hated woman in Britain".

A flamboyant and emotive woman, her taste for appearing on breakfast television in sparkly eveningwear has calmed somewhat.

Although her husband is typically more soberly dressed, he last week arrived at the High Court in a Stars and Stripes tie and a drape jacket.

Hard lesson

The publicity about the adoption prompted former colleagues, neighbours and relatives - including Mrs Kilshaw's daughters from a previous relationship - to come forward with allegations about the couple.

Judith Kilshaw in London
Judith Kilshaw: "Most hated woman in Britain"
Neighbours complained of a noisy house overrun with animals, and the local British Legion club revealed it had once banned Mrs Kilshaw for rowdy behaviour.

In all, the couple have learned the true cost of going public with their fight to keep the babies.

As Mrs Kilshaw has said, "I am going to have to live with this for the rest of my life."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories