Parents briefly reunited with twins adopted through Internet
ST. LOUIS (AP) – For the first time since they became the subject of an international custody dispute, twin girls who were adopted over the Internet met briefly with their birth parents.
Parents Tranda and Aaron Wecker were allowed to visit the nearly 10-month-old girls for about an hour and 15 minutes each on Saturday. The reunion took place at a counseling center in St. Louis.
KDNL-TV reported that the twins were brought to and from the counseling center by undercover police and Missouri Division of Family Services agents.
Aaron and Tranda Wecker, who have separated, are separately seeking custody of the twins. Both declined comment.
The first hearing in the Weckers’ combined custody and divorce case is expected sometime this week in St. Louis Family Court. Judge Steven Ohmer has not said whether the hearing will be open to the public, but cases involving juveniles in Missouri customarily are kept closed.
The girls, Kiara and Keyara, were born in St. Louis in June, around the time the Weckers split.
A California couple, Richard and Vickie Allen, paid a $6,000 fee to an Internet adoption broker and were in the process of adopting the girls.
But Tranda Wecker took the girls back after two months and turned them over to a British couple, Judith and Alan Kilshaw, who paid $12,000 to the service, adopted them in Arkansas and took them to Wales.
The Kilshaws’ adoption was voided by an Arkansas court because neither they nor Tranda Wecker had established residency there. The Kilshaws gave up their custody fight in Britain earlier this month.
The Allens initially contested the Kilshaws’ claim to the twins, but bowed out after Richard Allen was accused of molesting two baby sitters. Allen has pleaded innocent.
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