04/14/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
The 9-month-old twin baby girls born in the American Midwest and now at the center of a transatlantic tug-o-war are to return to the U.S. following a British court ruling on Monday, reports Reuters. The twins had been adopted by British couple Alan and Judith Kilshaw, who found the children over the Internet and then paid a baby broker for them. A San Diego couple, Richard and Vickie Allen, also claimed to have paid the same broker to adopt the two girls, but they have since dropped out of the custody battle. In announcing his ruling, Justice Andrew Kirkwood said: "It is right that these American children should return to the state of Missouri (where they were born)" and that the children remain in the "custody and control" of the Missouri court pending a decision on their final upbringing by "some part of their natural family." The girls' natural mother, Tranda Wecker, has said she wants the children back while a U.S. court in February awarded custody to their biological father, Aaron Wecker. Meanwhile, an attorney for the Kilshaws says that his clients are considering appealing the London court decision.