Alan and Judith Kilshaw, of Buckley, Wales, lost their High Court bid to regain custody of the twins Monday. Justice Andrew Kirkwood ordered that the 9-month-old girls should be returned to the state of Missouri, where they were born.
The twins, Belinda and Kimberley, were taken into custody by social services in Flintshire, Wales, on Jan. 18, and have been on emergency short-term placement with foster parents since. It was unclear when the twins would be returned to the United States.
The Kilshaws adopted the girls in December through a California-based adoption agency. But the twins had already been adopted by a U.S. couple sparking the trans-Atlantic custody battle.
The U.S. couple, Richard and Vickie Allen, have since pulled out of the custody fight. Last week lawyers acting separately for the twins´ estranged biological parents, Tranda and Aaron Wecker, of St. Louis, Missouri, had requested that the girls be declared abducted children under The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.