|Family|| Stephen Talmadge (son with Jennifer Talmadge)|
Brandon Cook (son)
Linda Cook (ex-wife)
|Actor||David Aaron Baker|
Robert Cook is the father of Stephen Talmadge. His efforts to be reunited with his son drew him into a legal battle with Tyler's adopted parents, Adam and Erin Blake.
Robert Cook had a brief fling with Jennifer Talmadge while the two were in college in 1989, but this was only because at the time he was on the outs with his then-girlfriend Linda. When Cook learned that Linda was pregnant, he sought to do the right thing and dumped Jennifer to reconcile with her, unaware that he'd also impregnated Jennifer. Brandon Cook was born in May 1989, and Robert and Linda married. When Stephen Talmadge was born on June 2, 1989, Jennifer considered putting him up for adoption, but changed her mind. However, she wrote a letter to Robert to inform him that she had given birth to his son. Linda intercepted the letter and feared Jennifer would file a paternity suit. She went to Jennifer's apartment to try and scare her off, but accidentally killed her. Desperate, she sold Stephen to a baby broker named Mark Sanford under Jennifer's name. Stephen was adopted by Adam and Erin Blake shortly afterwards and named Tyler.
For two years, Jennifer's parents, Herbert and Margaret, petitioned the NYPD to find Stephen Talmadge, but he was never located because the Blakes had changed his name when they adopted him. The case was declared cold in 1991, when investigating officer Max Greevey was murdered, but the Talmadges continually begged Greevey's partner, Donald Cragen to keep investigating it.
In the intervening years, Robert and Linda had a second son. However, their marriage fell apart in 2001, and they battled for custody of the children. Robert gained custody of both sons.
Shortly after, Mark Sanford was arrested after a crack addict named Alicia Brown sold him Emma Daricek, a baby she had kidnapped after her own child was stillborn. In the process of investigating Sanford to see if any of his other brokered babies had been stolen, the detectives at the Special Victims Unit learned that Stephen Talmadge had been adopted through Sanford's agency. Robert was identified as the father and sought custody, leading to a painful legal battle. It was a tough situation for everybody as Robert was a good man and the Blakes were good people too. The Blakes had raised Steven, but Robert could easily provide for him and planned to have Stephen's maternal grandparents be part of his life. Due to her own and SVU's sympathies with the Blakes, ADA Alexandra Cabot acted as their lawyer in the legal battle. While the battle raged, Linda was implicated as the one that accidentally killed her while Robert won custody of Tyler, but has made arrangements to keep the Blakes in his son's life. (SVU: "Stolen")