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U.S. High Court Sides With Father in Adoption Dispute

February 14, 1995|EDWARD WALSH | THE WASHINGTON POST

CHICAGO — The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to delay an Illinois court order transferring custody of a 3-year-old adopted boy to the biological father he has never met.

The action marked the fourth time that the high court or one of its justices has considered the "Baby Richard" case, but it did not end the bitter dispute between the biological father and the couple that has had custody since the boy was 4 days old.

Lawyers for the couple, known as John and Jane Doe, said they would return to the Supreme Court to seek an order for a lower court hearing on the "best interests" of the child before custody is finally determined.

In June, the Illinois Supreme Court invalidated Richard's adoption. Last month it rejected a new appeal by the couple for a "best interests" hearing. The state court ordered the Does "to surrender forthwith custody of the child known as Baby Richard." It was that order that the U.S. Supreme Court, in its 7-2 action Monday, refused to delay.

Richard's mother originally told Kirchner the boy had died. Kirchner has sought custody since Richard was 3 months old.

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