The Supreme Court cleared the way for a 3-year-old adopted Illinois boy known as "Baby Richard" to be turned over to his biological parents, with whom he's never lived.

The justices, without comment, left intact an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that awarded permanent custody of the boy to his father, Otakar Kirchner.In an unusual move, the court did not accept any new cases for review this week. In other actions, the high court:

- Left intact the convictions of a Seattle area couple on charges of sexually abusing their daughter and her friend. The justices rejected William and Kathleen Swan's argument that convicting someone solely on the basis of "hearsay" evidence is unconstitutional.

- Let stand a ruling that forces public TV stations to give valid, "viewpoint-neutral" reasons for excluding some candidates from televised political debates. The justices, without comment, rejected an appeal by the Arkansas Educational Television Commission that had sought to squelch a lawsuit by an independent congressional candidate left out of a televised debate.

Baby Richard has remained with his adoptive family - the only parents he's ever known - pending the outcome of Monday's two high court appeals.

In one of the appeals, a court-appointed guardian for Baby Richard argued that the boy should not be returned to his biological parents without a hearing to determine what's in his best interests.

The appeal urged the court to block "the destruction of his relationship with the only family he has ever known."

The second appeal was filed by the child's adoptive parents. It said the Illinois court's ruling, if allowed to stand, "will have a disastrous impact" on Baby Richard, his adoptive parents and other adoptive families in Illinois.

Baby Richard was born March 16, 1991, to Daniela Janikova. For most of her pregnancy, Janikova lived in Chicago with Kirchner, like her an immigrant from the former Czechoslovakia.

While Kirchner was back in his home country visiting a sick grandmother, Janikova received word that he had married a former girl-friend.

Janikova moved out of Kirchner's home and gave Baby Richard up for adoption four days after his birth. Janikova did not tell the adoptive couple's lawyer who had fathered her child.

Janikova told Kirchner the child had died. According to court documents, he did not discover the truth until 57 days after Baby Richard's birth.

A state trial judge ruled that the father's consent was not necessary for the adoption because he had shown insufficient interest in the child during the first 30 days of its life. A state appeals court upheld that ruling.

But the Illinois Supreme Court, in a ruling earlier this year, said Kirchner's alleged disinterest in the child "is not supported by the evidence."

He "made various attempts to locate the child, all of which were either frustrated or blocked by the actions of the mother," the state Supreme Court said. "Further, the mother was aided by the attorney for the adoptive parents, who failed to make any attempt to ascertain the name or address of the father."

Kirchner and Janikova have since married.