Over twenty years ago, a woman and her husband were involved in “the first story to break the internet.” Judith Kilshaw, now Sillet, tried to pay with her then-husband Alan to adopt two little girls from America.
They paid an agency £8,200 to adopt the babies, which they renamed Kymberley and Belinda, and flew to America to meet the girls. However, they soon discovered that they weren’t the only parents who had paid for the children.
The girls were born to Tranda Wecker, who named them Kiara and Keyara, WalesOnline reports. The 28-year-old was already a mother of five when she gave the four-month-old girl up for adoption. However, Judith and Allen realized they weren’t the only couple to adopt the girls.
They were adopted by Richard and Vickie Allen, a California couple who agreed to pay £4,000 for the babies. They stayed with the family for several weeks before their mother made a final visit. She took the girls “for the day” but never returned.
By this time, Tranda had received a better offer of £8,200 from the Kilshaws. The Kilshaws paid this money to an agency, believing it was adoption fees.
Alan and Judith Kilshaw flew to San Diego on December 1, 2000, where they first met the babies and took them back to their hotel before planning to fly home from Wales. However, it didn’t take long for them to discover that they weren’t the only hopeful adoptive parents.
Speaking about the ordeal on This Morning in 2019, Judith shared her side of the story, saying, “In America the law is different, they have a cooling off period so they can place the child with a couple and I think it’s something.” like 60 days and on the 59th day they could leave, I changed my mind, and there is nothing you can do. She told them she wanted them for the weekend she would bring them back it was no problem the Allens said ok I assume they weren’t very happy but they let them go for the weekend and brought them during that weekend them to us.”
Vickie Allen’s brother reportedly tracked down the Kilshaws this weekend and is demanding they return the girls. The Kilshaws quickly packed up and headed to Arkansas, where the adoption process was completed in a five-minute hearing, and brought the twins (renamed Kymberley and Belinda) back to their home in Buckley, Wales.
Once back home in Wales, Alan, a former solicitor, decided that after the debacle they were dealing with, he wanted to warn others about adopting a baby this way and went to the press with his story . His actions backfired, and within days, social services were brought to the attention of the case. Under an emergency shelter order, after a tense three-hour hiatus, Kiara and Keyara were taken from their adoptive parents and placed in their care on January 19, 2001.
In the weeks that followed, the FBI investigated how the girls had been sold to two different couples online, while Tony Blair vowed to ban the “regrettable” trade in babies for cash.
Meanwhile, the Allens asked Tranda not to go to court and to return the babies to the California home where they spent a third of their young lives. They even appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show where they confronted the Kilshaws who also wanted the girls back.
A Missouri court awarded custody of the twins to Aaron Wecker, their biological father, who said Tranda neglected his daughters by trying to sell them over the internet. Tranda herself even tried to get the babies back but was unsuccessful. When the girls returned to the US, they were placed with a new adoptive family and given new identities that were never made public.
Judith Kilshaw has been in and out of the public eye for the past twenty years, discussing what kind of lives she wants girls to have and asking them to get in touch once they are old enough to make up their own minds. Judith and Alan split in 2006 but have remained on good terms.
Alan even walked Judith down the aisle when she remarried to a younger man named Stephen Sillet in 2008. Alan passed away in 2019 and Judith stayed close to him until the end. She told of his last wish to be reunited with the girls.
During her performance on This Morning in 2019, Judith said she decided to stay out of the girls’ lives. She told Eamon and Ruth: “I stayed out of their lives because I wanted them to have a stable upbringing. To reach the age where they know what is happening and can make decisions.
“I’m not going to force myself on them. It’s up to you. If they want to have contact, I would be willing to meet and talk about the past. I’m not saying come and live with me and be my best mate, but if you want to know what happened and how it ended.”
Judith said she’d like to know what happened to the Allen family and it seems she’s about to find out now. The scandal will be the subject of a new three-part Amazon Video documentary, with Tranda Wecker, Judith Kilshaw and Vickie Allen telling the story from their own perspective. The series will be released on November 18th on Amazon Prime.