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Christmas Miracle - Sean Goldman

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Christmas Miracle - Sean Goldman

Post by bluj1515 on Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:45 am

Some of you may remember me posting about S*** Goldman, a boy at the center of a big international custody battle in Brazil. The boy's mother was married to an American, took him to Brazil on what was suppose to be a vacation, told the American father once she was in Brazil that she wasn't coming back, was divorcing him and keeping the boy there, beginning what already would have been a huge custody battle. But got more complicated when she died in childbirth last year and it became clear the American father was going to be awarded clear custody. The father, David Goldman, finally got him back today and they are on a plane back to the US. The Brazilian family paraded him through the front of the US Consulate so the cameras could catch his terrified looks and tears. I ask that you keep him and his father in your thoughts this Christmas. While this is a Christmas miracle for his father and so many others who supported David Goldman throughout the battle for his son, S***'s transition is going to be rough. He's been in Brazil for 5 years. David couldn't even see him for most of that time - first on the advice of counsel, because if he had accepted his wife's limitations on seeing the boy, it was tantamount in the courts to accepting her abduction and her arrangements, then because the family refused to allow it, even after court order and court order. The family used that to slam him all over the press, but failed to mention how they wouldn't let S*** speak to him on the phone and didn't give S*** the presents he was sent. The other day the family's lawyer had said something like the family was giving up and wouldn't appeal "the war is over". It angered me so much that he flat-out called it a war. That's how they approached it and that's how it was from the beginning.

Judicial secrecy came into play in this case, too. The Brazilian family -- ironically INTERNATIONAL FAMILY LAW EXPERTS -- are very powerful and had connections to right-wing political parties. They got a judicial secrecy order early on, gagging the father, and even an order against the press about reporting on the story -- except, of course, the smears they leaked. Most Brazilians only found out the truth a few months ago when the Brazilian Attorney General began talking about it in the press as he was representing and supporting the American father.

It had geopolitical implications, too -- Brazil of course is positioned as a hemispheric counterweight to the US, and during the Elian Gonzales saga rightfully criticized the American courts and government for allowing that farce to play throughout the courts. In this similar situation, Brazil had to be the status quo power and Lula and his government had to be on the father's side and support the treaty obligations they'd signed. Perhaps the next time a heartbreaking story like this and Elian occurs, politicians will be slower to use it for cheap political points. Unfortunately, I doubt it.

I am just thankful that David Goldman has had his son, wrongfully taken from him, returned to him, and I hope that S*** understands one day how hard his father has fought for him and how he never gave up. I know he will show the Brazilian family the grace that they did not give him, to see S*** and to send him presents and talk to him on the phone, because of how he has suffered. Having seen this case play out I know now you can never say the child is better off without his or her parent or is "settled in" somewhere. It's torture for the parent who has to live two wrongs - the abduction and then, to see the courts say, but they abducted him and he's settled in here, so too bad.


R
IO DE JANEIRO David Goldman, of Tinton Falls and his 9-year-old son S*** were reunited Thursday in Brazil after a 5-year international custody battle, and immediately headed home to spend the holidays in the United States.

David Goldman and his son, S***, left on a charter plane about three hours after the boy was handed over by his Brazilian family, said Rep. Chris Smith, who was in Brazil to support the U.S. father.

Earlier, carrying his luggage and wearing a yellow shirt with the Brazilian flag and
Olympic rings, S*** was escorted by his relatives to the U.S. Consulate, where a scrum of journalists tried to get close. His father, of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, was waiting for him inside.

The boy cried as his stepfather and family lawyer tried to get him through the crowd, and guards roughly pushed back photographers and TV cameramen.

His maternal grandmother, Silvana Bianchi, said in tears simply that "this is a very
difficult moment."

S*** has lived in Brazil since Goldman's ex-wife, Bruna Bianchi, brought him to her native country for what was supposed to be a two-week vacation in 2004. She stayed, divorced Goldman and remarried, and Goldman began legal efforts to get S*** back.

After Bianchi died last year in childbirth, her husband, Joao Paulo Lins e Silva, a
prominent divorce attorney, continued the legal fight and won temporary custody.

The tug-of-war pitted Goldman against a powerful family of Rio de Janeiro lawyers
willing to use all legal means available, in a nation where the wealthy are used to
coming out on top

Despite numerous court findings in favor of Goldman, Lins e Silva continuously found an a way to delay giving up custody.

But after five years of rulings and appeals, Supreme Court chief ruled Tuesday that
S*** be returned to Goldman. On Wednesday, the Brazilian family dropped its legal
challenges.

Rep. Smith said S*** appeared to be happy when he and his father were reunited, and he had already spoken with his grandparents back in New Jersey.

Once he was with his dad they were smiling, with their arms around one another,"
Smith said. "They looked just like best buddies."

A little more than an hour later, they left the consulate for the airport.

Silvana Bianchi, the maternal grandmother, had wanted to travel with S*** to the
United States to ease his transition, but family lawyer Sergio Tostes said that wish was denied by the U.S. government. Tostes said the Brazilian government declined to intervene in the matter.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Orna Blum said the U.S. government and the consulate were not involved in the travel arrangements, which she said were handled by lawyers on both sides.

Goldman's New Jersey-based lawyer, Patricia Apy, criticized how the handover was conducted.

"Unfortunately, the Brazilian family, rather than have the handoff take place in a
garage, which would have been secure, parked away and walked him through the press, which only serves to make the situation more stressful for the child," Apy said.

Blum also said the tumult during the boy's delivery could have been avoided.

"The family was offered the same access to the consulate as the father," she said.
"For whatever reason they chose to get out of their cars and walk in."

The Brazilian family brought the boy to the consulate about 25 minutes before the 9
a.m. (1100 GMT) court-ordered deadline.
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Re: Christmas Miracle - Sean Goldman

Post by dianeh on Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:57 am

I watched that poor boy being taken through the throng of reporters at the US embassy (on tv). It must have been scary and traumatic for him. And totally unnecessary. There was a private entrance which could have been used, but instead Sean's Brazilian family chose to take the most traumatic path for him, to make it public, and to cause further hurt to him.

I am very happy that Sean and his dad were pleased to see each other. I believe that with time, counselling and a lot of love, they will recover their relationship, and form a happy family.

For Mr Goldman it must have been the best Xmas present anyone could ever hope to get.
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Re: Christmas Miracle - Sean Goldman

Post by Pedro Silva on Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:13 pm

Glad they are happily reunited.

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Re: Christmas Miracle - Sean Goldman

Post by Peaceful1 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:32 pm

I hope the boy settles well with his real father who has fought long and hard to get him back and won.
What a lovely happy ending. He was taken away without a choice, now he has been given back to his blood father.
I suppose the courts had to look at the future, what would have happened if the step father remarried after losing his wife (the boys mother)...would there have been a place for him in the new relationship?
Living with 2 step parents?
IMO, the court chose right.
May they live a peaceful and happy life.
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