SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — A boy at the center of a four-year custody battle was taken sobbing and whimpering from his adoptive parents Sunday by the mother who had given him up and the father he had never met.
Otakar and Daniela Kirchner picked up the 4-year-old boy, identified in court records only as Baby Richard, from the adoptive parents' home in suburban Chicago where he had lived since he was 4 days old.
The child cried, whimpered and reached out to his adoptive mother repeatedly as she turned him over to the Kirchners. The adoptive father looked on with tears in his eyes.
Many in a crowd of about 200 neighbors cried as the boy was driven away in a van and taken to his new home, also in suburban Chicago.
Otakar Kirchner said Sunday that he would allow the adoptive parents to see the boy. He did not elaborate.
The transfer capped a legal fight that has involved the governor, the state General Assembly and judges all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The state Supreme Court granted Kirchner custody in January, ruling that the adoption was illegal because Kirchner had been told by the boy's mother that the child was born dead. He had fought for his son ever since learning the truth, when the child was 57 days old.
Kirchner was abroad when the baby was was born in March, 1991. Told, incorrectly, that he had married someone else, the mother put the baby up for adoption.