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Lawyer: Baby Richard Showing No Ill Effects of Custody Transfer

May 4, 1995

CHICAGO (AP) _ A 4-year-old boy was showing no ill effects from being taken from the only family he had ever known and returned to his biological parents, a lawyer said Thursday.

Robert and Kimberly Warburton, who had raised the boy since he was an infant, returned him Sunday to Otakar and Daniela Kirchner.

The child, who had been known in court papers as Baby Richard, sobbed and whimpered as Mrs. Warburton gave him to Kirchner in front of the Warburtons’ suburban Chicago home.

Loren Heinemann, Kirchner’s lawyer, has seen the child daily since Sunday, and said the boy was laughing and showing no external signs of turmoil.

``If you didn’t know any better, you’d wouldn’t know this had just happened to this child,″ Heinemann said.

``But I’m not so naive as to believe everything is wonderful,″ he said. ``I think as we get more into this, a week or so down the road, the reality will start sinking in.″

The Kirchners plan to let the boy contact the Warburtons, but doctors have suggested waiting awhile, Heinemann said.

``If we were to allow visits to their house tomorrow, we are not helping the boy to adjust,″ he said.

Nonetheless, if the boy asks to call the Warburtons, ``the call will be placed immediately,″ Heinemann said.

The Warburtons’ lawyer, Laura Kaster, would not comment. The Warburtons have an unlisted number and could not be reached for comment.

Mrs. Kirchner gave the boy up for adoption when he was 4 days old and told Kirchner _ her then-estranged boyfriend _ that he had died. When he learned the truth 57 days later, Kirchner sued for custody, claiming his parental rights had been violated.

The state Supreme Court granted Kirchner custody in January. He and Daniela are now married.

Kirchner told the Chicago Tribune in Wednesday’s editions that he would take the boy to visit the Warburtons _ who had been known in court papers as John and Jane Doe _ only if he asked.

``He hasn’t asked to see the Does,″ Kirchner told the newspaper. ``He’s saying he loves this house better than the other one. He’s telling me his room is nicer, his clothes are nicer, his toys are nicer. Why should he see them if he’s not asking?″

Heinemann said his client may have been speaking out of anger.

``If he had his druthers, he’d just as soon never see or hear from (the Warburtons) again,″ Heinemann said. ``But I think he agrees and recognizes that ... they will probably be seeing or dealing with each other in some fashion because of the child.″

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