The custody battle over Baby Richard is probably destined for months of more litigation now that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to step in on behalf of his adoptive parents.

The Supreme Court justices on Monday made no comment as they left intact a ruling by Illinois' highest court that voided the boy's adoption. The state court had ruled that biological father Otakar Kirchner's parental rights were improperly terminated since he never consented to the 1991 adoption.Hours later, Kirchner's lawyer asked the Illinois Supreme Court to order the boy's adoptive parents to give him up immediately. Since the adoption, Kirchner married the boy's biological mother.

Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy, meanwhile, asked Circuit Court in Chicago to grant the adoptive parents temporary custody pending a hearing on the child's best interests.

It's not known when the state courts will rule.

The Illinois Supreme Court decision had been appealed by Murphy and the adoptive parents, who have remained anonymous.

Lawyers on both sides agreed that protracted litigation is likely. That prompted child psychologist Kim Dell'Angela to suggest the adults should "step back and really do what is the right thing for this child . . . and not make him a ping-pong ball."

Dell'Angela warned against severing the child's ties with his adoptive parents no matter what the legal outcome. She said Richard should have contact with both families throughout his childhood.

Baby Richard was born March 16, 1991, to Daniela Janikova. Kirchner was in Czechoslovakia visiting a sick relative at the time, and Janikova had been told, erroneously, that he had married an old girlfriend while there.

She moved out of Kirchner's home and gave Richard up for adoption when he was 4 days old. She told Kirchner the child had died and didn't tell the adoptive couple's lawyer who had fathered her child.

Kirchner said he didn't discover the truth until 57 days after the baby's birth, and took legal action immediately to recover the child. He and Janikova have since married.