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British High Court Rules Against Kilshaws in Internet Adoption Case

Aired April 9, 2001 - 10:34   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's get the latest update now on the story we mentioned right before the break, the British High Court making a ruling in this case of the Internet adoption twins.

Let's go now to our Amanda Kibel, who's standing by on the phone in London -- Amanda.

AMANDA KIBEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leon, yes, Justice Andrew Kirkwood has ruled that the twins should return to the state of Missouri, where they were born. There, the twins will be in the custody and control of the Division of Family Services, under the orders of a Missouri court. And they will be looked after by foster parents initially, pending a decision in the courts in Missouri as to whether it is in their best interests to be brought up in some part by their natural family or whether other provisions should be made for them.

Justice Kirkwood is allowing some possibility that one or both sets of parents will, in fact, be given custody. But of course, that decision will now rest with the Missouri courts, and the children will be sent back to the United States soon, we imagine. However, those details will remain confidential, the judge says, to protect these children from any further distress.

The court also held that it would not be in the welfare interests of the twins to be returned to Mr. And Mrs. Kilshaw. One of the decisions that the justice had to make was whether or not the Kilshaws were fit to be parents. He has clearly ruled against that, saying that he didn't believe the children's best interests would be served by going back to the Kilshaws.

The court also decided that the children cannot be cared for by the foster placements, where they've been in Britain since January. He says these foster placements cannot continue to meet their developing needs or be sustained for much longer, and he says "sadly, the twins will have to move to a further, immediate placement in the United Kingdom or the United States before permanent arrangements can be found.

They will be sent to the United States in the interim. They will be held, possibly, by social services or another foster family before they return. But basically, the future of these two 9-month-year-old girls will now be decided by the courts in Missouri -- Leon. HARRIS: Amanda, is there any recourse for the family there in Britain trying to execute this adoption? Do they have any appeal that they can file on this ruling?

KIBEL: They do, Leon. Legally, Mr. and Mrs. Judith and Alan Kilshaw can appeal this case. They have said all along that they will, but that remains to be seen. This particular case has been a long and grueling one for everybody involved. It is also very costly. So it remains to be seen whether or not the Kilshaws will appeal the case.

But they continue to insist that they are the legal parents of these children. They say that they paid for them and that the children will be looked after best by them. So that remains to be seen.

HARRIS: Interesting, Amanda Kibel, reporting live this morning, on the telephone from London. We appreciate that.

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