Twist in Twins' Tug-O-War

06/05/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

The tale of the Missouri-born infant twin girls who were sold for adoption -- twice -- over the Internet took a strange twist on Friday, when authorities removed the 6-month-olds from the home of their British adoptive parents and placed them with social workers under what was being called an "emergency protection order." The Associated Press reports that Alan and Judith Kilshaw, who'd been caring for the girls in Wales, have vowed to reclaim girls through legal means. Meanwhile, the American birth mother of the babies, Tranda Wecker, 28, a divorced hotel receptionist from St. Louis, also said that she wants them back, having told CBS News that she regrets the adoption. Wecker had reportedly accompanied the Kilshaws to Southern California, where they allegedly removed the girls from the home of Vickie and Richard Allen, who for two months had raised the children. Both the Kilshaws and the Allens claim to have adopted the children through a baby broker, Tina Johnson, whom they found on the Net. (The Allens paid Johnson $6,000 and the Kilshaws twice that amount, say reports). In San Diego on Thursday, publicist Jennifer Coburn told the AP that Johnson operates a legitimate "adoption facilitation" business, has already facilitated approximately 100 adoptions and charges nonrefundable fees for her services. Coburn also said it was the Wecker who selected the Kilshaws after she expressed concern about the Allens (Coburn did not elucidate). The FBI is reportedly looking into the case.

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