I've just finished reading David Goldman's recently released book about the successful return of his son, Sean, from Brazil--an effort that took nearly 5 1/2 years. Titled, "A Father's Love: One Man's Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home," the memoir shares Goldman's heart-wrenching and inspiring story of his relentless and determined efforts to recover Sean after the child's abduction by his mother in 2004.
David Goldman thought that he and his Brazilian wife, Bruna Bianchi, had a good marriage and her departure for Brazil in June 2004 was a planned vacation. Goldman, in fact, drove Bruna, Sean and Bruna's parents to the airport. Needless to say, Goldman was shocked when Bruna telephoned him only two days after she arrived in Brazil to say that she was not returning. She told him that he had to come to Brazil and sign over full custody of Sean to her if he ever wanted to see Sean again.
Goldman took swift legal action to attempt recovery of Sean. He obtained a court order in New Jersey giving him temporary custody and then filed an action under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Parental Abduction seeking Sean's return. In 2004, Brazil had 66 American children who had been kidnapped by a parent. Brazil, although a signatory to the Hague Convention since 2000, had never returned a child to the U.S.
Goldman soon learned that he was up against formidable opponents. When Bruna died in childbirth (having married a Brazilian lawyer despite the fact that she'd never obtained a U.S. divorce), David thought that surely Sean would be returned to him. In fact, Brazil's law in that regard is the same as that in the U.S. The surviving parent's right to custody of the child trumps the rights of any third parties. The legal manueverings of the people Goldman calls "the abductors" and "the kidnappers" were extraordinary.
Goldman finally received support in what became an international controversy that eventually reached the highest levels of the U.S. and Brazilian governments.However, this father's unwavering love kept him going despite threats to his life, unbelievable legal fees and other costs for the many fruitless trips to Brazil. He was fortunate to have the assistance of good friends (both new and old) and some pretty amazing people who rallied around and brought political and economic pressure to bear upon Brazil and who also, after Bruna's death when the ruthlessness of the "second kidnappers" helped David to obtain the media exposure that was surely a key part of the solution.
This is an extremely well-written book in which Goldman exposes legal machinations, peculiar ironies,
and the compelling emotional elements involved in every step of his journey to bring Sean home. Goldman continues to help other left-behind parents in their efforts to recover their own abducted children, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to www.bringseanhome.org, which continues today to focus the Bring Sean Home Foundation's efforts on behalf of abducted children around the world.
You may preview this book and purchase it at Amazon.com or your local bookstore. A Father's Love: One Man's Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home (Hardcover) Also available in Kindle and audio editions.
See the very moving Dateline interview of David Goldman by Meredith Vieira
DATELINE PART I