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Baby Richard Settles into Biological Parents’ Home

May 2, 1995

CHICAGO (AP) _ As Baby Richard was plied with toys and attention while settling into his biological parents’ apartment, he still wanted to know when he was going home.

The blond 4-year-old fed ducks Monday with his biological father, Otakar Kirchner, at a pond near their home in suburban Mokena. Custody was transferred Sunday, when the child was taken whimpering from the arms of his adoptive mother.

The boy also looked through books, played Nintendo and even got into a little trouble for jumping on couches, said Kirchner’s attorney, Loren Heinemann.

But the child has asked several times when he can go home, and has spoken to his adoptive parents and brother at least twice by phone, Heinemann said.

``You can’t say that after a day’s time this is a natural thing for him,″ Heinemann said. ``Hopefully, things will work out.″

The boy hit it off reasonably well with Kirchner and his wife, Daniela. ``I won’t say they were bonding right away, but they were interacting,″ Heinemann said. ``Things were OK.″

Mrs. Kirchner gives facials in a beauty parlor. Kirchner is an unemployed restaurant manager. He wants to spend a few months getting to know his son, then go back to work, Heinemann said.

The custody battle prompted Americans to re-evaluate adoption laws in light of the best interests of the child and the rights of the biological father.

Mrs. Kirchner was not married when she put her son up for adoption four days after he was born, believing Kirchner had abandoned her. Kimberly and Robert Warburton took the baby home that day. The mother told Kirchner his son had been born dead.

When she told him the truth, their child was 57 days old. Kirchner immediately launched his custody battle, and the couple later married.

The Illinois Supreme Court granted Kirchner custody in January, ruling the adoption was illegal because he had been told his child was dead. The U.S. Supreme Court twice refused to hear an appeal.

The Warburtons have a new appeal pending before the high court.

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