January 21, 1997 in Nation/World

Father Leaves Son He Once Fought For

Compiled From Wire Services

A man who battled fiercely for more than three years to win back his son from another couple has moved out on his wife and left behind the boy once known as Baby Richard.

“It’s not the way I’d pictured it ending,” said Otakar Kirchner’s former lawyer, Loren Heinemann. “It hurts a lot.”

Kirchner moved out several months ago, and the 5-year-old boy, now known as Danny Kirchner, is staying with his biological mother, the lawyer said Monday.

“Whether it’s permanent or not, I don’t know,” Heinemann said. “I hope there is a happy ending.”

Danny was adopted by Kimberly and Jay Warburton when he was 4 days old, before his biological parents had married. The boy’s biological mother, Daniela Kirchner, said she believed at the time that Otakar Kirchner had abandoned her. At first, Otakar Kirchner was led to believe the boy had died.

Two months after the child’s birth, Otakar Kirchner began fighting for custody. After a fierce court battle, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Kirchner’s parental rights had been denied and it invalidated the adoption.

Danny was taken sobbing from the Warburtons in April 1995 as supporters of the adoptive parents taunted Otakar Kirchner with cries of “Monster!”

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