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Missouri Investigates Twins’ Mother

January 31, 2001

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Tranda Wecker, whose twins are the subject of an international adoption dispute, accepted welfare money for them after she apparently gave them up, state officials said Wednesday.

The Missouri Department of Social Services confirmed that Wecker, who lives in St. Louis, was being investigated for welfare fraud.

``We discovered that the two twins were still listed on her welfare case even after, according to media accounts, the children were already living with other families,″ said Deb Hendricks, a department spokeswoman. ``We immediately stopped that portion of the benefits from going to her.″

Calls to Wecker were not immediately returned. Her attorney, Gloria Allred, declined to comment.

Two couples _ the first in California, the second in Britain _ tried to adopt the babies from Wecker through an Internet adoption broker.

The twins were first given to Californians Richard and Vickie Allen. Two months later, Wecker took the 7-month girls from the Allens, drove to Arkansas and had the children adopted by the British couple, Alan and Judith Kilshaw of Wales. A judge signed the papers on Dec. 22, and the Kilshaws took the babies to Britain.

Both couples want the children. Wecker has also said she wants the twins back, and so has their father, Aaron Wecker, who claims his ex-wife neglected the children by trying to sell them over the Internet.

The twins are in the custody of British social services until the courts can straighten out the matter.

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