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2001: 'Internet twins' taken into care

The American twin girls at the centre of an internet adoption scandal have been seized from a hotel in north Wales and taken into care.

The girls were staying with British couple Alan and Judith Kilshaw who say they paid 8,000 to adopt the girls over the internet. The Kilshaws now plan to fight for custody of the babies through the courts.

Belinda and Kymberley, who are six-months-old, have been the subject of a tug of love between two would-be sets of adoptive parents, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The scandal first erupted when American couple Vickie and Richard Allen complained the twins were taken from them as they were finalising an internet deal to adopt the girls for 4,000.

After two months caring for the twins at their home in California, the Allens say the girls' natural mother asked to say one last goodbye and snatched them back.


"I am asking as a human being to please send me my babies back"

Richard Allen

Social services were alerted once the babies arrived in Britain.

They applied for an emergency protection order and last night, social services workers and police officers went to the Beaufort Park Hotel in Mold where the girls have been staying with the Kilshaws.

Flintshire social services say the girls have been taken into care for their own safety.

Judith Kilshaw said: "I thought if there was a problem it would be dealt with sensitively.

"They would come at a reasonable time, talk to me and Alan and say this is what we are thinking of doing."

Gloria Allred, legal adviser for the girls' natural mother, Tranda Wecker, says she just wants what is best for the twins.

Richard and Vickie Allen say they are praying for the twins' return - and they have set up a shrine to them in their home.

Mr Allen has appealed to the girls' natural mother not to go through the courts.

He said: "I am asking as a human being to please send me my babies back."

The case will go to the High Court next week.

In Context
The case of the internet adoption twins caused huge controversy and led to the tightening of the adoption law in the United Kingdom.

An American judge ruled in March 2001 the girls should be returned to the United States for their future to be decided there.

The court ruled neither set of would-be parents met the legal requirements for adoption.

The Allens later withdrew their claim after Mr Allen was accused of molesting two teenage babysitters - charges he denied.

The Kilshaws ran up legal bills of more than 60,000 in the custody battle.

They were declared bankrupt in March 2002, and four months later Mr Kilshaw was struck off as a solicitor for financial malpractice.

The twins' estranged natural parents failed to win custody.

A judge ruled in May 2002 that the best interests of twins Kiara and Keyara would be served by keeping them under the care of the Missouri Division of Family Services.


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