June 16th ruling on reunification: This Order by Judge Pinto
placed Sean in the custody of his father from 9 AM Monday until 8 PM
Saturday - in Brazil for a "transitional period." Judge Pinto, finding
signs of parental alienation syndrome that "there is no doubt that the
minor needs to have contact with his father as soon as possible." Sean
is to spend 9: PM Saturday on Saturday until 9 AM on Monday with the
stepfather. This arrangement will continue until all pending appeals
are decided. You may read the Order here.
According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, the Brazil federal court in Rio de Janeiro has authorized Sean's father, David Goldman, to live in Brazil with Sean while it reaches a definitive verdict in the custody battle with the boy’s Brazilian stepfather. This decision in favor of David Goldman holds that pending a final verdict in the case, nine-year-old Sean, will stay 6 days a week with his father and 1 day per week with his stepfather. Sean was abducted to Brazil by his mother in 2004. She died in child-birth last fall and Sean has lived with his step-father since then.
Meanwhile, read more details in The Moderate Voice about this startling development in the tragic battle by an American father to regain custody of his son who was kidnapped to Brazil five years ago. That report says that while the order for reunification of Sean with his father pending final resolution is commendable, it seems ridiculous that David Goldman can only “have custody” of his son for six days a week, from Monday 9 AM until Saturday 8 PM, and…in Brazil.
The Moderate Voice article quotes New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, who has stood behind David Goldman all the way: “This is not a good status quo, it is not even a good interim solution. What is [Goldman] supposed to do…stay in a hotel?” Smith says, about the taped “interrogation,” “It has all the earmarks and markings of a hostage situation.”
David Goldman says, “It’s nothing short of tragic…the pain is beyond unbearable.” David's goal continues to be to bring his son back home, for good, unconditionally, no strings attached. In the meantime, U.S. and Brazilian lawyers are preparing to respond in this latest round of an international custody battle that has already gone on for much too long
The boy's Brazilian stepfather, Joao Paulo Lins e Silva, is fighting to keep the child in Brazil with him. He has recently been sanctioned by the court in Brazil for "bad faith litigation," for failing and refusing to permit David Goldman to see Sean in court-ordered visits until the one recent visit. Joao Paulo Lins e Silva wrote a self-serving letter portions of which were published in USA Today. In the letter, he attempts to explain his reason for fighting for custody of the child and attempts to gain public sympathy for Silva's cause. He claims that he has always had a natural relationship with Sean and that the boy even calls him Dad. He writes: "I always went to the parents' meetings at his school, we did his homework together, I put him to bed, common things between parents and children."
In an attempt to claim that Sean is "acclimated" to Brazil (a defense that sometimes prevents a return under the Hague Convention), Silva claims that Sean speaks very little English and that he believes his family is Silva and his half-sister. He says that Sean is willing to have contact with David Goldman but in a "healthy and balanced way." He also has this to say: "We are running the risk of the child's best interest being violated, torn up, thrown away by North American political interests. The only person being penalized in this story is Sean, who runs the risk of losing everything that really makes him feel safe."
Silva apparently hired a psychologist to evaluate Sean. You earlier saw those transcripts linked in this Blog. On the taped interview, Sean says he will "break down totally" is returned to his dad in New Jersey and that he wants to remain in Brazil.
Especially see this op-ed piece by Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican. Smith is in his 29th year in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. His help to David Goldman has been immeasurable. Smith sponsored H.R. 125, which was passed by the House on March 11 and sent a strong message that the U.S. will no longer ignore child kidnapping. Ditto for the Senate.
Smith makes a good case for a quick resolution of this case.
Last but not least, visit http://bringseanhome.org/
David Goldman is going to have to give up his livelihood temporily to live in Brazil until this kidnapping is resolved. I'm going to help by making a donation. Will you?