Internet adoption couple had faced age bar in UK

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The Independent Online

The couple who adopted twin girls over the internet admitted yesterday that their attempts to officially adopt a child in Britain had been rejected because of their age.

The couple who adopted twin girls over the internet admitted yesterday that their attempts to officially adopt a child in Britain had been rejected because of their age.

Judith and Alan Kilshaw, who are both in their mid-40s, said social services had told them they were too old to be put on a list of approved adoptive parents. As a result, they turned to the United States after learning that they could adopt via the internet.

Mrs Kilshaw, 47, from Buckley, north Wales, said the family would now move abroad if they succeeded in defending a court action, which starts in Birmingham today, to make the six-month-old girls wards of court under the care of Flintshire County Council.

"When America came up I thought 'well, I'm not breaking the law it doesn't seem to be anything illegal', said Mrs Kilshaw. "Obviously if it was illegal, my husband being a solicitor, we wouldn't have done it... We will not be staying in Britain if they come back to us... This country obviously doesn't want me and my husband," she said on the Channel 5 programme The Wright Stuff.

Despite mounting speculation that the twins will be taken into temporary care, the Kilshaws continued to insist that the girls, called Kimberley and Belinda, were "our girls".

In a separate development, the Health minister John Hutton confirmed that he has written to British internet service providers to warn them it is illegal to knowingly host a site for adoption companies which break the law. That move follows a decision to speed up new regulations outlawing adoptions by parents who have not been officially registered.

"We have had very clear legal advice about the implications of the Adoption Act in terms of internet service providers," he told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme

The Kilshaws also face legal action by Richard and Vickie Allen, who had paid £4,000 for the twins before their mother, Tranda Wecker, sold them to the Kilshaws. The Californian couple said they will start legal action in the UK if their attempts to have the Kilshaws' adoption in Arkansas declared illegal.

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