04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
A judge in St. Louis has granted the biological father temporary custody of the 6-month-old twin girls that are at the center of an international tug-of-war since they were brokered for adoption over the Internet. The ruling came on the same day a British court ruled that the girls should remain in foster care in England. California couple Richard and Vickie Allen, who reportedly paid a San Diego-based Internet service $6000 for the babies, first cared for the girls, born to Tranda Wecker of Arkansas shortly after she divorced Aaron Wecker. Reports say Wecker, who now claims to want her babies back, took them from the first adoptive couple after two months and turned them over to a British couple, Judith and Alan Kilshaw, who paid $12,000 to the Internet service. In the St. Louis custody hearing, Aaron Wecker alleged in court documents that his former wife neglected the twins by trying to "sell" them twice on the Internet. He also accused her of not telling him where the girls were for weeks at a time and "subjecting the twins to illegal activities and underhanded and shady doings." The ruling prohibits Wecker from coming within 100 feet of the infants and gives Aaron Wecker custody until at least Feb. 14, when another hearing is scheduled. A lawyer for Tranda Wecker wouldn't comment on the ruling.