The legal background of the internet twins adoption case

Belinda and Kimberley, the baby girls adopted over the internet
by Judith and Alan Kilshaw must return to their home in Missouri,
America. That was the decision on 9 April 2001 of Mr Justice
Kirkwood in the case which has created a great deal of media
interest and comment.

The judge said that the twins would be looked after by foster
parents in the US where a court would decide there what is in their
best interests. One of the main reasons for his decision was that
the foster care arrangements by Flintshire Council’s social
services department were about to come to and end. He wanted to
avoid a move to yet another temporary foster home in Britain,
before returning home. Details of the girls’ journey back to
America will remain strictly confidential.

The home secretary announced on 16 January 2001 that he would
arrange an investigation of the circumstances whereby the little
girls were brought from the USA to the UK. On 18 January 2001 the
girls were made the subject of emergency protection orders and
Flintshire Council applied to make them wards of the high court two
days later.

Section 57 of the Adoption Act 1976 makes it unlawful to make or
give to any person any payment or reward for adoption, consent for
adoption, handing a child over for adoption or arranging any of
those three. Anybody who contravenes Section 57 and arranges an
adoption or a placement for adoption is liable on summary
conviction to prison and/or a fine. In addition, the court is
unable to approve the adoption as the placement was not made by an
approved adoption agency.




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