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« NBC coverage of Sean Goldman return to his father, David Goldman | Main | Beautiful, beautiful boy | BSH to continue helping left-behind parents »



Thank you Jeanne for keeping this in the eye of your peers and for your contributions to our understanding of the case. NBC has a HEART! It didn't surprise me to learn that CBS has or had a biased journalist and producer that was friends with the family. How else could they have ignored the common sense that a child belongs with his parent

Matthew Ornstein

I am a father of a 7-year-old and have been following this story for some time. I am amazed and inspired by David Goldman, and find the maternal grandmother and stepfather's conduct appalling (not to mention that of the deceased mom). The best thing that could happen for Sean would be that the Brazilian family would sit back and wait for him to contact them only. Also, that when Sean is old enough, he read and learn about the "facts" behind his father's noble struggle, and the true acts of cruelty inflicted by his brazilian family.

Thanks for your blog,


Jeanne M Hannah

Tim, thanks for your kind words. As you can see, I am passionate about cases such as this one. I think the parental alienation is going to be difficult to resolve - not so much the relationship between David and Sean -- but the damage to what could have been a healthier relationship between Sean and his Brazilian family. Like it or not, there's a tie (albeit, to what appears to be a highly dysfunctional family). However, I am confident that David is well-advised. I thought the decision to keep David out of the spotlight was very smart. Rep. Smith is to be commended for giving up important family time to remain in Brazil, to be the spokesperson to the media, to run the gauntlet with the exchange mess, and to see this case to its emotionally charged end. Kudos to him.

The one thing David won't do, I am sure, is to bad-mouth the Brazilians. Every time someone in a parental role verbally attacks another parent or parent figure, the child feels personally attacked as well. The sometimes tenuous hold on love and affection with that parent who has been left behind needs to be strengthened. But ill-intent clouds the reason of some people. Although it clouded the reasoning of the Brazilian family, I think David is following wise advise and this is going to be a complete success.

Some space . . . some privacy . . . it will come together.

Yesterday, I came across some accounts in the Michigan "Baby Jessica" case . . . These were oral histories of what has occurred in the past 15 years. Anna (as she was re-named by her biological parents) overcame the effects of being transferred from the DeBoers to her biological parents [think news helicopters, searchlights overhead, paparazzi and cameras up close and personal].

The Baby Jessica case was more serious because this child was taken from Iowa when she was a week or so old and returned when she was 2 and 1/2. Developmentally 2 and 1/2 is a terrible time for a separation from primary caregivers. Jessica was slated for a major reactive attachment disorder. But she has apparently thrived in spite of everything.

Children are resilient. Sean has those first 4 years to build on and apparently lots of video and photographs and, of course, his intimate family relationships to help him recover what he lost in the past 5+ years.

What a blessed Christmas for the Goldman family. Joy, joy, joy.

Jeanne M Hannah

Susan, I could not agree more with what you say. NBC has done a stellar job. They get it. CBS still doesn't get it and still reports this as "a custody case." In fact their shameful interview on the Morning Show with Sean's Brazilian stepfather and grandmother in June 2009 prompted me to send the following email to every member of their news and editorial staff, from the top down:

"CBS News needs to do its homework. The article "Boy must stay in Brazil for now, judge says" is as deficient in factual basis as was the soft, overly sympathetic interview of Joao Paulo Lins e Silva and Sean's grandmother on The Morning Show last week. Moreover, it shows a myopic lack of attention to the rule of law.

"The Sean Goldman case is -- plain and simple -- a case about kidnapping. This time it is not a parental kidnapping. Rather, it is a second kidnapping (wrongful detention) of Sean Goldman in Brazil by his stepfather Joao Paulo Lins e Silva. Still, Brazil shirks its duty to return Sean immediately, as Judge Pinto ordered on June 1st.

"Brazil became a Hague Convention signatory on 12/01/2003. Since then over 65 children have been abducted by parents to Brazil and not one has been returned. Brazil's own civil code says that when one parent dies, the other surviving parent (the legal, biological parent) by rule of law is automatically to have custody. Yet, when Sean's mother died, he was not returned to his biological father who has been seeking his custody since 2004.

"Sean's stepfather is himself a Hague Convention lawyer, as is his father. Therefore, every possible defense under the Hague Convention has been raised in the latest proceedings in Brazil. This is a kind of "throw everything against the wall and see if anything will stick" approach. The Brazilian federal court judge, Rafael Pinto, shot all of these defenses (and others equally ludicrous) down. Only the extraordinary and competent advocacy of David Goldman's lawyer, Patricia Apy of Red Bank, New Jersey could have led Judge Pinto to his insightful and competent decisions. Those decisions swept away any serious consideration of the "defenses" raised by Lins e Silva.

"If CBS is too busy to read the 65 page June 1st decision by Judge Pinto holding that Sean should "immediately" be returned to the U.S. and to the custody of David Goldman and Judge Pinto's subsequent June 8th decision describing the parental alienation to which Sean is subjected in Brazil, then I suggest that at the very least CBS might read my summaries. I trust that Patricia Apy will correct me if I have in any way failed to accurately state what Judge Pinto stated -- both as findings of fact and conclusions of law. Contact her if you have any questions. For any news agency to offer up commentary and news stories that ignore the factual details of this case and the rule of law is irresponsible. For a major U.S. news agency such as CBS to do so is incomprehensible. The term "yellow journalism" comes to mind."

That was June -- six months ago. And they still don't get it. In the meantime, I have been spending a lot of time up on my constitutional highhorse.

BTW, I think CBS is blackballing me. Yesterday and today my usename and passwords don't work . . . efforts to correct this problem were fruitless.

Susan Sutton

NBC has been reporting on David & Sean for over a year with grace, correct facts, and a wonderful presentation. They have shown compassion in their stories that have touched many around the world. Yes around the World... I became a supporter of "Bring Sean Home" a year ago because of NBC, after hearing the cries of a father to bring his son home. I have watched videos and read many articles from many sources and CBS always seemed to not get it right. I have even sent them comments that what they were reporting was incorrect. NBC has gone above and beyond in researching the facts, reporting the correct information, and helping a father in need. There are many more stories just like David & Sean's that need our attention and if you would just visit "Bring Sean Home" you can get many correct facts, and also help in the fight to help many "Left Behind Parents". I believe that if CBS would have done this they could have had a different opinion, correct facts, and possibly an audience. Thanks to NBC, Meredith, Jeff, and all at NBC.

Susan Sutton

Timothy P. Flynn

Give you kudos for tracking this story over the past several months; even a year or more? This is the kind of story that grabs the attention of family law professionals and the general public alike.

I feel so bad for this boy and his father. Not only has the boy lost his mother at such a young age, he undoubtedly made deep connections with his faux-family during the five years he spent down in Brazil.

Also, your emphasis on the family member who also happens to be an "expert" on Parental Alienation "Syndrome" is spot on. What a farce.

Keep up the excellent blog posts!

Jeanne M Hannah

I say "Ditto" Steve. You are spot on.

Steve Simon

I say bravo to NBC, for many things: For choosing to see the value in the story and airing it on Dateline a while back. Remember, it was this Dateline story that got one of the heros, Rep. Chris Smith, involved, and HE has been INVALUABLE for the success of David's effort. For CONTINUING to keep the story in the public, ACCURATELY, with Meredith Viera on the Today show and other stories, over the past few months. For sending a full crew to Brazil this time in support. For having a plane there and offering the ride. I hope David DID cut an exclusive deal with them. It would be a GREAT deal. HE needed their help and support, which they gave in a non-sensational way, and they got a story and gave US an inside view without abusing the situation or putting Sean on the spot.

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