US court rules to decide fate of internet twins

Friday, March 02, 2001
A court in the US has ruled that the twins adopted by Judith and Alan Kilshaw over the internet should be returned to America.

The court in St Louis said that custody of the eight-month-old girls should be decided in Missouri.

The girls were adopted twice over the internet, first to a California couple, then to the Kilshaws. They are currently in foster care in England.

Their natural mother Tranda Wecker and their father Aaron Wecker both appeared at a custody hearing in St Louis Circuit Court.

Lawyers for Tranda Wecker and the children said after the hearing that courts in England and Arkansas would be contacted with the aim of sorting the case in the US.

At the moment the British courts have jurisdiction because the children are there. Arkansas is involved because the adoption to the Kilshaws was completed there.

The California couple - Richard and Vickie Allen - are trying to persuade a Little Rock, Arkansas, judge to set aside the Kilshaws' adoption as fraudulent.

Last month, another St Louis judge awarded Aaron Wecker temporary custody of the twins, although it was paper custody only since the girls remained in foster care.

Aaron Wecker has agreed to surrender that temporary custody in what lawyers describe as a procedural move aimed at speeding along the process of getting the case brought to St Louis.

The girls - named Kiara and Keyara by the Weckers - were born on June 26 in St Louis. The Weckers separated a short time later. Their divorce - and a decision concerning custody of their other daughter, aged three, is expected to be finalised at a hearing on March 16.