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June 10th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Brazilian Custody Battle

Brazil's Supreme Court today takes up the case of a New Jersey man trying to get back his 9-year-old son.  (For the full story, click here.) Dad David Goldman is in Brazil for the hearing. A ruling is expected this afternoon and you can bet we'll bring it to you as soon as we get word.

Yesterday,  Heidi talked  to Mark DeAngelis, a good friend of David Goldman and co-founder of
We also had Sergio Tostes booked - he's a spokesman for the stepfather's family - but he had to cancel because of a business conflict. As many of you pointed out in your blog comments, we haven't heard from the other side. We have been trying, and we'll keep trying to get that side of the story. We want to know why this man is fighting so hard to keep his stepson.
It's not too late to post your thoughts. Click on the comments tab below

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Gabriel

    I am Brazilian, and I am ashamed at how my country is handling this situation. If the main issue is the well being of the child, the longer they wait, the harder it will be for him to readapt to living with his father in the US.

    June 8, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  2. Yinka

    Heidi how about the families that has been seperated by the immigration enforcement police. I had a friend that was deported when his child was only 4 months, will there ever be a way for him to see his child again.

    June 8, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  3. Mike Hanson

    Heidi Collins I think the Boy should be giving for his Really Father

    June 8, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  4. kiki

    What kind of law gives the step father more power of costody over the real father of an human being. I just don't get it.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  5. Kara

    I'm from NJ, not far from where David lives. When I first learned about this story through Dateline over a year ago, I was immediately alarmed and knew this wouldn't bode well for him. Since then my anger, dismay, frustration and heartache has only intensified. Not only is it unjust what the step-father is doing- manipulating the courts in Brazil with his money and influence to keep a child that isn't his- illegal according to the Hague Convention, it is evil, in my opinion. International, not must American, sanctions MUST be enacted against Brazil until he is on American soil. But what I don't understand is why it took 5 years for a politician to finally get the ball rolling? While I applaud Rep. Chris Smith for his efforts in this case, it now may be too late.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  6. Ezekiel Lemiso

    I am wondering about the laws that govern U.S citizens abroad. I would think the state department would be in the center of this because Sean is and AMerican citizen. Isn't this international kiddnaping? What is the role of the State department in such a complicated case?

    June 8, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  7. Michelle Morel

    I am a single parent of my 8 year old Christopher, his father has been largely absent. I consented to a semester visit to get to know his father who was in Brasilia. What it turned out to be, was a custody battle. The father was not a Brazilian, but an active US Marine, working at the US Embassy in Brasilia and the father used his diplomatic immunity to essentially support a parental Christopher.

    I went to the US Embassy to get Christopher and was astounded by the father calling in the US FBI, the Embassy attorney, and The Consular general to support him in his effort.

    The State Dept. office of Children's services were less supportive of my efforts to get Christopher to come home than Sean, because they said, “there was more media attention around Sean” and also my sons father works for the US government. My point is we need to practice what we preach as US citizens and be prepared to support the law on both sides.
    Christopher was finally returned upon the fathers return to the US after an 18 month absence. He is still going thru the trauma of what he calls “being stolen”, but having him back home is all that matters.

    As the world gets smaller, there will be more and more occurrences of cross border, transatlantic child abductions. We must think about the children and put them first.

    I sympathize with Mr. Goldman and my prayers and thoughts are with him. Having ones child taken is the most traumatizing experience I have ever gone thru.


    Michelle Morel

    June 8, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  8. J.Mav-FL

    The father should just hire a "professional" to go in there and take the child back. He's tried the "legal" avenues, for years, since the child was kidnapped by his mother to no avail. It's time to just go take back what is rightfully and legally his. Waiting on "wheels of justice?" Why? Seems they lead nowhere.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  9. Belen Priest

    I believe the real problem first started because many government believe that the children should stay with the mother. This exact same belief makes it hard for every man to see, talk to, or be apart of thier child's life in general. I bet it was VERY hard for Mr Goldman to drop everything to go seek custody of his son immediately. Even if he did have the money and a good lawyer on his side he would still have to go through this torture because people believe the child belongs to the mother. The time it took for him go try to raise and save the money to try to get custody back goes against him and makes matter even worse in the court room. Now the sad news of the mother's passing, you would think the father would automatically get custody. But even the same happens in America's court rooms. Father's hear a resounding "NO" that they would rather the child stay with familiar than with the one person that is fighting so hard to be a family. I wish and hope David gets his son. No father should have to go through what he has gone through. Yet so many do.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  10. J.Mav-FL

    Hate to say it but this is a risk you take when you marry/have kids with foreigners.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  11. Robert

    Thanks for covering this story. Please provide your viewers with methods to send a strong economic message that the behavior of the Brazilian Courts has consequences. Tell us companies to boycott, products to boycott. Keep up the pressure.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  12. Floyd

    I truly feel for the Father in this situation,and think he has the right to parent his biological child.

    However, this case has gotten tons of press, and now all of America is pointing their finger a Brazil. The sad thing is that this happens everyday in the United States and the court, nor the government gets involved to supoort the right to parent your biological child. I recently read a case in San Diego that was identical to this case, with the exception that is was a domestic move. not international. The mother took the child on a vacation 1100 miles away, and never returned. The court said she did not break any laws, so they allowed her to stay 1100 miles away. There was no abuse, no drug or alcohol involved.

    We should look at what this country allows before pointing the finger at other countries. We are just as bad, if not worst.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  13. murilo

    well if an american woman living in Brazil decides to move away from her brazilian husband with her son because she decided that they would have a better life here in america, then after a couple of years she die would americans support the son to go back to his father in Brazil? i dont think so...

    June 8, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  14. susan

    Is there some stance by the World Court or WHO or the United Nations on situations such as this?

    Isnt this the Elian Gonzales case in reverse, but between two supposedly democratric nations?

    There have been other cases of children who were initially "adopted" but then ruled "unadopted" who have had to be returned. Off the top of my head, the case of the Chinese immigrant family who were convinced that initially their first child (a daughter) would be better off with a Caucasian family only to discover that once they got themselves "on their feet" that they had signed a form foregoing parental rights – which was not their intent. Believe it was in Tenn or Kentucky. Eventually the court ruled in favor of the biologic parents. What has been the gist of the these rulings? How are the kids doing today?

    June 8, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  15. David

    If this case is such an important story for you, why are you not reporting the initial findings of the Brazilian courts? Were H.C. protections invoked? It’s hard to know without finding out about this if H.C. offers any real protection at all.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  16. Starman

    I'm not that familiar with all the details of the divorce, if there was one filed in the US. If the mother took the son to Brazil and filed for a divorce in Brazil in order to remarry or if she never filed for a divorce in Brazil or in the US and Brazil allows multiple marriages.

    Did the father consent to the divorce in the US when she remarried? Was the US still recognizing the mother and father as married until her death if no divorce was filed in US?

    June 8, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  17. William Courtemanche

    Since Brazil is a pertner in the process, this child should be immediately returned to his father.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  18. Gary

    Maybe the father should hire someone to kidnap the child and bring him home to the father. This situation is just wrong. The father needs his child.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  19. Matt Wills

    I believe the child should be returned to the real father, however, we need to look at what is in the best interest of the child's welfare. Ask yourself, where would the child have a happier life?

    June 8, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  20. Eli

    If Brazil is a chronoc violator of the Haugue Treaty why is there no consequence in terms of reduction/elimination of aid to Brazil. If there is no penalty there is no incentive.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  21. Mark

    This case from Brazil proves the fact that justice is mostly for the rich and powerful, while the average citizen gets the shaft. This seems to be par for the course everywhere in the world. I was going to take a trip to Brazil in the near future but decided to let Brazil know how I feel with my best weapon, money. Perhaps if we all stand up and let the Brazilian government and business community know that nobody will tolerate this kind of behaviour with our dollars, they will get the message loud and clear.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  22. J Jurcan

    Since the Brazilian courts seem to think money & power are more important than family, then let's hit them in the pocket book--Boycott Brazil!!!!!!!!

    June 8, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  23. Marilynn Michaels

    I've followed the reporting on this case off and on, and it's occurred to me that there may be a very good reason for this abduction that no one wishes to report.

    The father is Jewish and the mother was most likely Catholic. Her family does not want the child to be raised as a Jew and will go to any lengths to prevent it.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  24. Scot H

    We should apologize to Brazile, surrender the fight for the boy and give them preferred trader status. We've done it to every other country, why stop now.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  25. Robert Williams

    This reeks of foul play. This child should obviously be returned to the father. And just like Mr. Bernard Aronson stated, this child will be pressured from his step father's highly well known family of attorneys to side with the Brazilian family. This is whole situation is a mess!

    June 8, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  26. Mary Driver

    Hi, i understand this gentlemans heartache in a serious way. The same thing happened to me 17 years ago, but in the state of south carolina. The judge on my case gave my little girl to my ex-husbands family and did not allow me to say anything in court. i was 18 years old and they took advantage of me. i never signed for them to raise my daughter. Now, they say that because she has been there with them, i have no rights. I pray that this man gets his son back, there is never a way to make up the years lost. The heartache will make you a depressed soul and i wish i had the help that he has. My little girl told me 4 years ago that she wanted to be with me, but they stopped me from seeing her because she felt that way. It has now been four years and the heartache only gets worse.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  27. Cristina Somerset

    I was born in Brazil and have been in the US for the past 32 years and am a naturalized citizen. I am very sad, appalled and furious at the attitudes of my old country. I really feel for the father and he really should be the one to raise his son. It is outrageous that Brazil has taken sides with the stepfather. I think that perhaps they are looking to be compensated, this is a disgrace. I hope this child, once is returned will never want to be part of that family ever again when he is of age to have a voice in this situation. I really blame the mother for being vindictive and not allowing the son to have a father in his life.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  28. john lees

    I have been following this case and am annoyed with you for constantly critising the Brazilian law, you have to learn to respect other countries laws for that they are democratic to that country and not how America would like it to be, this also goes for North Korea. This is their country and these are their laws, not America and you have to accept them as they are.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  29. Eneias

    I am brazilian and I am not ashamed of my country for holding a boy and protecting him for having a worse life abroad. It seems to me that it's not fair to take a boy from a family of winners and give him to a loser like David Goldman.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  30. Al

    Again I State, You keep asking if Brazil is a nation of law. as a father of 13 and 21 grandkids I feel for the young man and his father, but untill the US shows that it is a nation of law by prosicuting War Criminals that are running lose, and being being covered by the media on all fronts we can't use this argument.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  31. Ed

    I'm a Brazilian and I think the boy should be with the biological father. But Heidi, I'm still LOL because of what you said about Brazil is not following International Law... Nobody follows International Law and the US is the "Perfect" example...
    Be carefull with your words.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  32. Freddie Johnson

    Hi Heidi,

    If Brazil's Supreme Court suspended the decision of a smaller Brazilian court ruling, why " Mr. Goldmen does not get he's son back.
    The Brazilian just don't want to give in to U.S demands.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  33. marie

    I was born in Brazil and lived most of my life there. I can tell you that the rule of law doesn't apply to the rich and powerful there. The fact that this case has gone so far is an affront to the law and to the country's reputation, but who cares? This family is doing this because they can and they know they can get away with it.
    Brazilians should be ashamed – I feel ashamed – to see this level of corruption in the open to the entire world to see. And I'm not hopeful this case will be resolved in the father's favor. You know how it goes: you scratch my back, I scratch your back.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  34. carlos

    Why you guys shows only one side of the story? I haven`t seen any
    interview with the father in law or a brazilian family of the child or a
    brazilian authority.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  35. Donna

    Why do adults play these games, this child should have the right to be with his biological father. When the mother passed away this step family should have done what is right for this child, not what they felt is right for themselves. When are adults going to realize the damage that is done to these children once they are of age to fully understand what has been done to them. Brazil should take the right stance and rule that this child should be returned to his own father. I realize that the step family feels the pain of the loss of the grandchild at birth, but to try to replace this child by keeping a child who is not blood related is very wrong. This child needs his father, if he is not returned he will feel resentment towards this step family when he becomes an adult, when the truth comes out.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  36. Linda

    I'm totally confused Sean should be with his father period. This is just totally wrong! What is up with the laws in Brazil...I pray no heart break here for David.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  37. Mark

    Since Brazil is trying to hard to enter the US market for their products, use you voices and money and let them know of your outrage. 27 May 2009 ... exclusive association of the largest US investors in Brazil, providing high-level policy advocacy, executive information services.

    Here are some places where your money and voices can let them know, we are watching them and know who they are.

    Peace and justice for all, not just the wealthy and influential.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  38. Eneias

    I am still not ashamed of thinking that Sean should stay in Brazil. According to the media in Brazil the boy is willing to stay in Brazil. According to what I saw on a TV report, Sean will have a much better life in Brazil than in his father's house in NJ.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  39. Paul

    My father died when I was a teenager and I stayed with my stepmother. Both my mother and stepmother get along and I consider them both instrumental in creating the man I am today.

    This kid is lucky to have two fathers who love him so much. I don't doubt that the step father has been a 'real' father to Sean, just as David has too. What is sad is that they are attempting to resolve this in court.

    These two fathers need to recognize that what matters is that if Sean is separated from either of them he will be worse off for it. Sean didn't create this mess, don't make him pay for it.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  40. Stephen donkor

    Looking at the story from an untold point of view, i think the american dad knew about the divorce filed in brazil from the onset. However, The idea was that, his wife was to return to the US with the child within two weeks; this brazilian lady had everything planned with her aniticipated brazilian man. What she did was an act of sheer wickedness, this couple have their marriage in good-standing on records in the US. " My wife took my son to Brazil for a fortnight and my son never returned", is this right? I think the brazilian man should be arrested for keeping someone else's son, his seed.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  41. Linda

    Who gives a crap about the other side of the story it was all done with lies from the get-go these people are evil and don't have good hearts. I have read many of the comments and my blood boils what about the BOY, what does he want? It is a shame that he is the pawn in political games...

    June 8, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  42. danny

    kidnapping is kidnapping use the world cup 2010 to protest but for now all out action

    June 8, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  43. Leah

    It would have been great if CNN had gotten some basic facts right. It's this one-sided reporting that makes me question the trustworthiness of a cable news channel.

    First thing, under the Hague Convention the child is permitted to remain in the current country if it is shown that the child is adapted to his new residence, has stated that he wants to stay, or if psychological harm will come to the child if removed from the home. The mother showed that those exceptions to the Hague applied 3 years ago and won her case against the father, and won all of the appeals. Brazil applied the Hague to the case but the exceptions to the Hague permit the child to remain.

    Secondly, in his first interview, published recently here at Istoe a Brazilian website, the boy says he feels no one is listening to him or cares to listen to him when he says how much he wants to stay in Brazil with his family. He says the thought of being forced to leave his family gives him headaches and stomach aches.

    Sean has lived with his stepfather for most of his life and calls him Dad. He has a sister and grandparents and family he loves. As the Brazilian Supreme Court judge said when he suspended the lower court ruling, 5 years is enough for this child to have made strong bonds with his family, his wishes should be heard.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  44. Mickey

    Don't blame Brazil for this custody mess. Blame the overlapping and contradictory legal systems, which are not always genuine justice systems. Above all, blame it on the aftermath of the two great family killers....divorce and death.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  45. Leah

    If the question here is whether Brazil is a country of laws, then here is the answer.


    In Brazil, the judiciary is independent, and there is a separation of powers. Therefore not even the Brazilian president can tell a judge how to decide a case. Not even a US diplomat or congressman can pressure the supreme court justices with sanctions into deciding one way or another. (Is this how we treat our democratic allies?)

    The Constitution of Brazil provides protections to every citizen, even children have their rights. Those constitutional rights are above any treaty, which is why the supreme court judge suspended the lower ruling. Sean's right to be heard under the Brazilian constitution is guaranteed and it cannot be taken away by opinion polls or US politicians.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  46. Victor Rodriguez

    These cases happen more often than people are aware of. Unfortunately it is until things are next to impossible to resolve the media might step in. In my ongoing personal case in North Texas, it was the local police that failed to adequately respond to a live abduction. Mother was saying she would go to Mexico and I, the father, would never see our two children again. There is a federal law International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993 18 U.S.C. 1204 which makes it a Federal felony to remove a child under age 16 from the United States—or to retain a child outside the United States—with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights. However the local police department in my case insisted their inability to stop an abuction in progress because she was the mother and no court orders in effect at that point. However there is a clear exception that there not need to be a court order simply a duty/ right to access as a parent by operation of law.

    So the police let the mother abscond with the children and exit Texas into Mexico. The following day I went to the police department to request a missing child report pursuant to Missing Childrens Act 42 U.S.C. 5771which requires law enforcement to enter complete descriptions of missing children into NCIC, even if the abductor has not been charged with a crime.

    I have seen local law enforcment agencies not well versed in federal laws involving child abductions make costly mistakes and not have any liability. Local law enforcement agencies such as police and sheriff departments NEED to be trained in this area given its recent increase and sensibility of the issue, children.

    If you fear a possbile abduction or have one underway as the left behind parent you should save the following number saved in your cel phone: Dept of State Office of Children’s Issues can work with local law enforcement agenices to try to prevent the departure:

    Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM EST – Call at 202-736-9090
    Evenings, Holidays, and Weekends – Call 1-888-407-4747

    June 8, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  47. James Adams

    Heidi, you are the best. Baby Sean can be best help by giving the story as much air-time as possible. Also, Sean's father can take the case to the International Criminal Court for violation of a International Treaty and Obigation that makes The President of Brazil lieable to criminal prosecution.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  48. Flavia

    Each year thousands of children are placed for adoption in the United States, and 90% of them belongs to immigrant parents. Further more, we know that during custody battle cases in the United States immigrant parent has no CHANCE. The American citizen parent will walk way with their children, isolate the immigrant parent and the Family courts in our country will not give a crap about it . Where is Bernad Aronson on this issue? He talks about Brazil breaking his heart for " holding" 65 American kids, how about the hundred of thousands that we hold from women around the world here in America?

    I think that CNN along with Bernad Aronson should spent some time navigating the America Court system and learn how pathetic and cruel our system is towards immigrant women and families, before taking the approaching in marginalizing other nations.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  49. Leah

    Every custody case has two sides. Is CNN going to present the other side?

    June 8, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  50. Mark

    BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT everything to do with Brazil until they do the right thing and return the US citizen to his native country. Money has a louder voice than anything else. Maybe this boy will become the billion dollar boy. Watch how quickly the wealthy brazilians who loose money will pressure their government to do the right thing for all the wrong reasons.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  51. Leah

    Sean Goldman speaks in an interview for the first time. Says he want to stay with his family in Brazil and is sick that no one is listening to him.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  52. Michelle Morel

    I totally agree with Leah's comment above:

    "Secondly, in his first interview, published recently here at Istoe a Brazilian website, the boy says he feels no one is listening to him or cares to listen to him when he says how much he wants to stay in Brazil with his family. He says the thought of being forced to leave his family gives him headaches and stomach aches."

    The child should have a say, being a parent of a child who is going thru the trauma of a parent abduction after being returned 5 months ago, his frustration is in not having a voice and unless the judge chooses to hear the child, the child is voiceless.. additionally there is no agency to protect and ensure the child's opinion, desires, concerns are being heard.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  53. Zilma

    Unfortunately, I would like to know, -"Why this woman left her husband "?Nobody runway from a happy and safety enviropment. She is dead. In my job I watch many american men marry foreign women and abuse them. Look, I am not saing that she was right to do illegal things. But, that family in Brazil have a lot of angry against Mr. Goldman. Why? I am reading everything about this case. Not just in here. I am trying to understand what others countries are talking about, include Brazil. What I know it is. This boy have a very good life in Brazil, he has a sister, grandparents that love him, a stepfather that do everything for him, he is attending a privacy school, etc...etc...There is the life this boy know. Someboby is considering that maybe this boy need a time to adaptation? Somebody understand that maybe he want to be there? I understand the legal situation, but in the life have more than just legal situations. Legal situation it is just part of life. Why this two families in here and in Brazil don't share the life of this boy for love of him? Maybe this boy move to US from Brazil and he deosn't like to live in here! His father will love him enough to let him go? The demage is done. I woullike to know who will love this boy and have a common sense to decide what is the best for him?

    June 8, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  54. eu eu eu

    The facts are that the boy said he did not care when first asked about wanting to stay in the U.S. or Brazil, as well as that a representative from the family that is now holding him was there with him during the questioning. That is NOT an unbaised or impartial hearing. Also, Bruna lied to David, to the Brazilian courts and to her child (as the family that is now holding him is STILL doing). If that is the kind of environment you saying is "loving" and that you want a child raised in, then we know where the corruption and violence in Brazil is coming from!
    Brazilian courts themselves have ruled that there have been 2 kidnappings; first by Bruna and now by the stepfather and the family. The psychologists appointed by the goverment have found that there is parental alienation occuring by the family holding the child. It has also proven that the family has lied and also has taken the child away during a court-mandated visit, breaking the law. This family does NOT care for the well-being of the child.

    Brazil, it is time to wake up to the lies of the family, stand up for your own families and put an end to the injustice, not only in this case, but the cases of the 70+ other children from the U.S. kidnapped to Brazil, as well as the untold number of children from other countries around the world, and in your political and judicial system. Is it your country (of the people of Brazil) or does it belong to the rich and corrupt?

    June 8, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  55. Michelle Morel

    CNN you are renounded for completeness of reporting, from ALL sides to allow the public to derive an informed opinion, lets hear from Sean himself.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  56. Dr. Linda

    I am an American university professor, but I also live in Rio de Janiero part of the year. Watching this situation from both sides clearly demonstrates 'power and money in action'. The Brazilian family is a rich and very powerful family of lawyers and judges, and even includes a past Brazilian Supreme Court Justice, and proposed running mate for current Brazilian President Lula. The father of the Brazilian step-father was cousin of a former Supreme Court Justice (Evandro Lins e Silva), who was also a proposed running mate for the current Brazilian President Lula in his first unsuccessful bid for the presidency in the early 1989. In fact, this 'grand-uncle' even led the impeachment hearings of Brazilian president Mello, the candidate who won the Presidential election over Lula in 1989.
    Also of interest is the fact that current Brazilian President Lula appointed 7 of the 11 current Supreme Court Justices scheduled to hear this issue on Wednesday. It's hard to imagine that American David Goldman's ex-wife could have married into a more powerfully connected Brazilan legal family.

    With connections and power like that, it's little wonder David Goldman has run into a brick wall for 5 years. The simplicity of returning this child to his biological father has unfortunately been spun into an international power struggle between the US and Brazil. However, international media exposure of the truth & facts of this case, may finally set this child free to join his father, after 5 long years...

    Bravo to David Goldman for never giving up, and the media for exposing this continuing drama of money and power.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  57. Leah

    The facts are this child stated 7 times in the hearings that he wants to stay. He is even saying this to the public now in his first interview, that he is sick no one is listening to him.

    The fact is there are two sides to this custody case. The only person Sean calls Dad is his stepfather whom he has lived with for most of his life. The fact is that he loves his Dad, sister, and grandparents and does not want to be forced to leave them or his home.

    The fact is that the Hague convention says that if the child clearly states that he wants to remain, then the Hague does not require him to be sent away.

    The fact is that Brazil has a separation of powers which does not permit the executive branch to pressure any judge to decide a case in any particular way. It also does not permit the judiciary to be pressured by a foreign nation into circumventing the rights of citizens.

    The fact is the Brazilian Constitution is above the treaty, and Sean's right and the Brazilian family's right to be heard in court are protected. That's why the supreme court justice suspended the lower court ruling.

    June 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  58. jon lester

    To all who have said "let's listen to what Sean has to say", I offer this.......

    The BRAZILIAN FEDERAL COURT, as well as 3 independant psychologists, have all filed reports stating that Sean is a victim of parental alienation. For the learning impaired, that means that the Brazilian family has LIED to Sean for 5 years. They did not allow David to call, the did not allow David to visit, and they told Sean that Dave abandoned him and did not love him.......

    A 9 yr old who has NOT been exposed to this form of child abuse is not capable of making his own decision, much less a child who has......

    Secondly, under international law, Sean should have been returned in 6 weeks. If Brazil had complied, we wouldn't have any of this mess......

    So, the child needs to be returned to his place of habitual residence for a custody hearing in the U.S., just like he should have been 5 long years ago....

    Brazil has not done the right thing to this child....period.....

    June 8, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  59. Luiz

    The post by Leah claims to be factually correct but it contains many errors that need to be pointed out.

    In case the parent whose child has been abducted invokes the protection afforded by the Hague Convention within a year of the abduction, the child needs to be returned to his or her original place of residence within six weeks. Even if the parent didn't claim the Hague Convention and more than a year has lapsed, the preferable solution is still that the child be returned within six weeks. In this last case (more than a year has passed), there is another option: the judge may take into account the child's well being in the new surroundings. It is clear that David Goldman invoked the Hague Convention the same year his child was abducted so that the exception does not apply.

    According to the Hague Convention, which covers children and teenagers up to sixteen years of age, there are no provisions to ask the child for their opinion. Even though not mentioned by the Hague Convention, it is well-known that children like Sean may suffer from parental alienation, which means that one parent badmouths the other and the child end up believing them. The greatest irony is that the stepfather and his own father are lawyers and have lectured about this issue as it affects others. A terrible example of double standards!

    In relation to the Istoe' magazine article, a careful reader would notice that it is the boy's grandmother who states that he doesn't want to leave and is having tummy aches and headaches. in fact, there's not a single quote that may directly be attributed to the boy. It is clear that the family is brainwashing the child and has been doing so for a long time already.

    The five years the boy has remained in Brazil are in clear violation of the Hague Convention and should not be used as an argument to rectify something that has been wrong from the start.

    What most people forget is that the Hague Convention does not decide who will keep the child. In this case, it will be the New Jersey court that will have to decide guard and visitation rights. The stepfather will certainly be allowed to claim his social-affective rights. This would be quite a bizarre claim, whoever, as according to American law, David Goldman was still married to his wife when she passed away...

    June 8, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  60. Liesl78

    I'm Brazilian, married to an American and have children with dual citizenship. I'm appalled at Brazilian Justice System letting this drag for 5 years. Sean should have been sent back to NJ within 6 weeks. He and his father have been deprived of a relationship by the maternal family. A well-connected powerful attoney who was married to his mother for 10 months has a claim to his custody????

    The mother is dead, the father is alive, case closed.

    Let this child come home now! He's been brainwashed into believing his father abandoned him. The court psychologists saw this. Just this last week, he asked his Daddy to come back the next day to visit. The father-son bond is not broken! Bring Sean Home!

    June 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  61. Liesl78

    Murilo wrote on June 8th, 2009 10:32 am ET

    well if an american woman living in Brazil decides to move away from her brazilian husband with her son because she decided that they would have a better life here in america, then after a couple of years she die would americans support the son to go back to his father in Brazil? i dont think so…

    Absolutely!!! USA has returned 7 children to Brazil already. Sean is one of the 66 children illegally taken from the US that Brazil has not returned. It seems Brazil signed the Hague Treaty to recorver the kids, but hasn't returned any. It's a 2-way road, you know...

    June 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  62. Naoma Foreman

    Has anyone asked the boy if he would rather stay in Brazil,
    which has been his home for a few years or go back
    to his father?. The child is certainly able to say which he
    would prefer.

    June 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  63. Leah


    Please get the facts right, under the international law you're misquoting, a decision is to be made in 6 weeks or a report made as to why a decision was not made. In any custody case, especially one involving people in two countries it often takes longer than 6 weeks just for the parties to have a court date set. The child is almost never removed from either parent in 6 weeks, this is a human being after all. What happens at 6 weeks is a status update on the process of the case.

    Next, this case was adjudicated under the Hague when it was the father v the mother, and the mother won that case using the exceptions the Hague allows. She also won all the following appeals.

    Next, the Brazilian SUPREME Court suspended the LOWER court ruling because they said that the Child was NOT listened to and his wishes were wrongly marginalized in this latest case. The child's clear statements are an exception to the Hague. In case around the world, recently in a UK vs France Hague case, the children's statements decided that case with a UK judge saying the boys' strong statements met the exception to the Hague.

    International law does not trump the constitution. Not here and not in Brazil. The US Supreme court does not trade constitutional rights for treaties and the Brazilian Supreme court does not either. Under their constitution Sean has a right to be heard and a lower court can't ignore that for the sake of an international treaty or the threat of US sanctions.

    It's a great thing that a person's rights, even a child's rights, under the constitution are not subject to political pressures.

    Sean has stated many times that he wants to remain with his sister and grandparents in Brazil, and with the stepdad he calls Dad. Is it in the best interests of this child to remove him from his home and the only family he's known most of his life?

    June 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  64. Kim M

    Sean Goldman should of been returned to his father 5 years ago. This is a Hague Convention case that has been pending for 5 years. Brazil hasnot returned one child to the United States in direct violation of this international treaty. Sean Goldman is only nine years old he can not decide his future, that is for his real father to decide. Sean does not know the real truth, that his real father has been fighting for his return for 5 years. 3 court appointed psychologists have written reports that the maternal family and step father have practiced severe parental alienation on this child. This is by a family of lawyers who practice family law and Hague Conventions cases. They also do speeches at conventions stating how cruel it is to promote parental alienation and then they are the master of parental alienation themselves. For Sean there is nothing in this world that can replace a loving, compassionate biological father. David Goldman only wants his God given right to raise his son. In Brazil a kidnapper has more rights to take another man's son and try to make him his own. Give
    David Goldman back his son, this cruel, inhumane treatment needs
    to stop now.

    June 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  65. amanda

    There is only one right and just thing to do. Return Sean Goldman
    to his real father David Goldman. The only losers to talk about are
    the stepfather and maternal family with their lies and cruelty they
    have put upon young Sean. How could you hurt a child with lies that
    your real father abandoned you ? It is it well documented that he has
    fought for his son from day one. Just because you are rich and powerful does not make you a good parent. Especially to lie and deceive a young child who already is feeling the pain of losing his mother. Judge Pinto from the federal court in Brazil had all the facts from both sides and he ruled with David Goldman, Sean's only father. Why don't you read the over 80 page ruling and all the truth, then say he belongs to a kidnapper with no biological ties.
    Justice for David and Sean will not be denied.

    June 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  66. Lauren

    If it was the father who had taken the child to another country, the child most likely would have been returned to the mother much sooner. The father is often seen as the "throw-away" parent, that his feelings and rights mean nothing. If this attitude doesn't change, cases like this will continue. I hope Sean is returned to his father soon. They've been apart far too long.

    June 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  67. Ms Rio

    I am an American living in Rio and would like to set the record straight about several misconceptions that people like Leah have. (1) The Brazilan press has been manipulated by the Lins e Silva family. For the longest time, they had a gag order not permitting anything to be written or said about the case until it took on such enormous impact in the US that it became necessary for a change in strategy. So then the Lins e Silva family had the gag order lifted and told the story but of course, only from their side – however, they have lied repeatedly. The stepfather's own letter shows he was advising the mother all along, to kidnap her child; (2) based on Leah's logic, if your car is stolen and the thief keeps it long enough, he should be alowed to keep it; (3) Brazil was solidly behind returning Elian Gonzales to his father and went on record on it; (4) this would not occur if the L&S family were poor.

    June 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  68. Victor

    A child should be heard no daoubt but when the mother decided to take away his God given right to his biological father there is not much the little boy could do or say. Unfortunately there are those that undermine the role and right of a parent. David Goldman should continue to fight for his child.

    I am reading that the child has now stated repeadetly he wants to stay in Brazil with his current family. He is a child though. How easy could it be for the people and powes behind this battle to manipulate, coerce and influence this child to say that? It would be the same people that have manipulated the judicial system of Brazil, The Hauge Convention and the US goverment. Oh no I'm sure they could not do the same with this little boy...

    Please be objective and realistic about this with these comments. Don't disrespect or humiliate this child anyfurther. All the people doing this to the little boy are clearly psychologically and emotionally abusing him. Who will take these people to court and pay in jail for this??

    June 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  69. Kara

    If you want to help, go to the following website, which has everything you need to know about how you can contact the President, Secretary of State Clinton and your local representatives. There's also a petition you can sign online that will evenutally go to the Brazilian court, though at this point it's now in the Supreme Court's hands. Do what you can!!

    June 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  70. sophia M

    This boy should have been returned to New Jersey almost five years ago. Mr. Goldman, since 2004, has used the law (international treaty known as the Hague Convention) to have his son returned to him. Unfortunately, the mother had used legal maneuvers to stall this case in the Brazilian courts. Now they use this as an excuse to keep Sean in Brazil. So if a kidnapper keeps you long enough, then they have rights to you? Additionally, it seems as though, the stepfather and maternal side of the family insist on spreading lies and accusations throughout the Brazilian media. I question if they have the best interest of Sean in mind? When President Lula was questioned about the case by President Obama, he stated that the executive branch does not interfere with the judicial branch. Well look where we are. When the powerful stepfather's family did not get a ruling that they liked, the political (PP) party became involved by approaching one supreme court justice. To me it seem like the executive branch is able to get involved. I also find that this family is very well connected politically and have used this to delay, delay and delay. They are harming Sean. Please keep this issue in public's eye until this boy is returned to his father.

    June 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  71. William

    Brazil's federal court Judge Pinto issued a return order of Sean Goldman to his only father David Goldman. This 82 page ruling was based on both sides of the story. Judge Pinto seen through all the lies and deception the maternal family and step father presented. Everything is well documented from day one of the abduction. They have done everything in their power to keep father and son apart, including the severe parental alienation on a daily basis. Judge Pinto is an example of a great leader who won't look the other way when the rich and powerful come calling for a favor. Justice must be served for father and son. The sooner the better for this young child. David
    Goldman has fought their legal way for 5 years and he won, let him
    have his son back. Thank You

    June 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  72. Flavia

    I am deeply concern about some of you making remarks about the so called"( child alienation syndrome/process). You guys got to remember that the crazy doctor , Richard Gardner, who came out with such a finding ,was an advocate for father's right of custody. Thanks to him thousands of women lost custody of their children in America and around the world. This doctor , whose now is dead, was discharged from his job, lost his profitable business/ practice, all of his written materials and recommendations were discharged ,dismissed, discredit, made fun of it, and no matter how hard you try you can not find none of his work available for purchase in the United States. Thus, I am amazed that the media in the United States are documenting Mr. Goldman numerous statements against the boy's Brazilian family ,on basis of Child alienation process. Mr. Goldman is further advocating the "PAS" issue on his website. It is all over. This is ridiculous and disgusting.

    Other interesting issue , it's related to some of the suggestion that some of you are making about boycotting Brazilian business and it's products.... !!!??%#&... HELLO .... You guys got to remember that Brazil is on top of the world, financially. Brazil is free of debt and doing well . Brazil is bumming....Brazil is importing to China, all over Europe, best friends and main importers to the middle east and things could not be better. And look at us, Americans, in are in the whole! Venezuela, Brazil , China could care less about America Business . We need to stop being arrogant and think that we are the only one's who have the right to interpreter and exercise the law and justice . We torture , we isolate and marginalize women and children in our own courts ,and yet, we want to call the shoots! Give me a break, would ya!?!

    June 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  73. David

    So many interesting comments on this blog, thougthful, extraordinarily well expressed, and unsourced or anonymous. How can I be sure of anything here?

    What do we have to do to get you to report the background here? To giving a synopsis and key details of the Brazilian courts' rulings? To showing a graphic of the H.C. protections and how they work?

    One compliment. In your intvw w Bernard Aronson, I thought I heard either you or him say, that under the H.C., the custody hearings for a child are supposed to be held in the child's home country. If this is so, and if the US is Sean's home country, then the agreement was violated to begin with because the custody hearings held in Brasil should have been held in the US. Is this right?

    Actually, it was your guest who said that I think. Why isn't there a link to the intvw with this post?

    After writing the above I went to look at the Hague Convention, and found in Chapter 3 The Return of Children that articles 12 an 13 taken together seem to indicate that there are exceptions to having to return a child to his or her home country immediately. If it is believed that doing that would put the child in physical or psychological danger or will be put in a situation that is otherwise "intolerable." Also if the child seems mature enough to be able to have something to say about the case and wishes not to be returned, this can be taken into account. Also if the parent seeking the return did not have or was not exercising custody rights at the time of an illegal retention. This is how article 13 reads to me.

    So, as things have proceeded so far, it seems that a ruling might have been made not to return Sean to the US for a custody hearing, that ruling coming following something like a Hague Convention hearing? If that's right, then we are in the midst of a custody case where a lower court in Brazil, according to your guest, ruled that Sean should be returned to his father five years ago, but that lower court was reversed by a judge on the Brazilian supreme court. Is that right? So we are now adjudicating custody.

    All I am saying is that you are giving fairly scant detail on the legal proceedings so far.

    I guess. On the other hand splashing this case all over the news can be very damaging to this child his father, step father and both families, to everyone on both sides of this case. And I notice that there is a certain gentleness to the Hague Convention when it comes to this subject.

    The aspects of the case that you are presenting are tantalizing, but without solidly reporting it, I feel you leave me questions about things you should be showing to begin with.

    Was that initial ruling flawed in any way? Why did the lower court judge rule in favor of the father? On what basis was that ruling overturned?

    Thank you for bringing us in close to look at the blog with you. You didn't have to do that and on a tough day I appreciated that kindness.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  74. sherry boyer

    It sems that this man is getting the run around because he is not rich and it is wrong for that man who has kept his son for the real father all these years even when he knew it was wrong and to continue to do so is wrong for the Brazilian govenment to continue to let it happen here is a man who loves his son and has the right to raise him as an american to which he was born. Not a man who has his own child to rraise how would he like it someone took his child? so give the boy back and don't make him feel that he has to chose because it is not right. I hope the Brazilian govenment sees this a makes him turn the child over.

    June 8, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  75. Mickey

    David should move to Rio to be near his son Sean. I'm sure regular visitation would be granted. Sean can decide where he would like to live when he reaches a certain age that both parties agree upon. Perhaps 14 or 15 years old. David's being apart from Sean is a mistake. Only the close proximity of David to Sean will result in the bonding of the two. That bond will be his only hope of future custody and more important... his relationship for decades to come. When there is a divorce or a death, there will be problems and suffering.

    June 9, 2009 at 2:34 am |
  76. Dianne

    Judge Pinto from the Federal Court in Brazil made a 82 page ruling
    on the facts of this international kidnapping case. Return Sean Goldman to his father David Goldman. Just because you are rich and a powerful lawyer does not give you the legal right to another man's son. The only reason Sean said he wanted to stay in Brazil is because the maternal family is telling him to say so. Sean's first answer to that question was it did not matter to him. That is documented also by the court in Brazil. David Goldman has fought long and hard enough just to be a father to his son. There is only one solution to this illegal battle. Give David his son back as soon as possible. As for a previous post suggesting David to move to Rio, that is the worst suggestion I have ever heard.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  77. Greg & Matt in Houston

    The President could have this child back in the U.S. in a heartbeat if he wanted to. He could issue an executive order freezing Brazilian assets in the U.S. or banning travel to Brazil and that child would be back in the U.S. within 24 hours. Of course that would require the President growing a spine, something we don't see happening....and we're Democrats.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  78. JJ

    I live in Miami and my opinion of the Elian custody battle was most unpopular at that time (and probably still). A child belongs with their parent unless abusive circumstances exist.

    What, if any, opinion was expressed concerning the Elian battle by Brazil and/or a Brazilian official at that time?

    Are there any precedents in the Brazilian court system to parallel the current circumstances?

    June 9, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  79. Joanne Henrickson

    This father could alleviate some of his emotional pain by asking Brazil for permanent residency. Living in Brazil, he can share these important years with his son instead of in a courtroom. The priority is time to be a father to his son, and that time is running out.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  80. Riane Santa Cruz

    Although I am generally proud of my country, Brazil, for all the giant leaps it has given on the last couple of years, at this moment in time I have to say I am deeply disapointed at its legal system. We preach so much about the latin love only to deny a father his own right of being with his child? As a Brazilian, I apologize to David Goldman as I am sure I am not the only one.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  81. Mark

    Coruption in Brazil? Who would have thunk it? Teach Brazil a lesson in internation law, boycott everything to do with Brazil, since dollars speak louder than words. I recently say advertising for Brazilian business trying to encourage americans to do more business with them. As soon as the wealthiest Brazilians and Americans get hit where they hurt the most (their pocket books), they will use their influence to overide the corrupt judges influence. Plain and simple, the wealthy and influential only understand one language its called $.

    As for Flavias comments, no matter what you say, they will notice the drop in their revenue especially at the top (greedy end of the spectrum). Dont be naive, money makes the world go round, ask Columbus who had to beg royalty for $ to make them more $. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  82. Daniele S

    I'm a US resident for 6 years also a brazilian and It is beyond my mind and hurts my heart for the father. The brazilian adopted family and the justice should be done. How many biological fathers run away are obligated or people that never met their father? This is a loving biological father that only deserves the right to be a dad as he is and always were and were betrayed deeply in the past, such cruelty. I am a mom to be end of July and like in any other country has good people and bad, good judment and bad. This should never happen.

    I can't even imagine to take away the rights of others specialy my baby and his father to have a healthy loving relationship which will strengh and make our soon a strong person. As a brazilian I feel ashamed with the betrayed and non sense justice delay. Where is the international help. Give the father his rights please!

    June 9, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  83. Mark

    Justice for the wealthy and influential, leftovers for the rest of us.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  84. Eileen Curras

    Yes, we cannot stop talking about the Brazil custody case. Certainly this kind of unions should be questionable from now on by the United States. The current international laws should be evaluated and carefully examined. Tactics like these one should not be allowed.
    It is my opinion that the persons who work on behalf of this monstrosity should not be allowed. They will cancel anything for whatever situation. Is this fair to Mr. Goldman.
    The people from Brazil twist the story. This U.S. child does not have a choice now. Are our laws really protecting our children? Who are really benefiting from all this press frenzy. Mr. Goldman should be educating our society to not engage into those situation since the law has proven to has a loophole.
    What can possibly Mr. Mark DeAngelis has to say to change the situation? We have to make ourselves be listen by the politicians. We have a situation in which the laws are completely fail and do not exercise the rights of either the father or a child? This is not the first situation that has gain importance. When would it be good for the law to do the job? I believe that CNN is not doing anything productive to this situation. Mr. Goldman has to change his tactics or line of thought.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  85. James Williams

    It is amazing that the wheels of justice move so slowly, that one has to jump through soo many hoops and in the end may or may not win the case. It seems that it would probably have benn easier to just kidnap the child back to the USA. I doubt that the US government would force the child back to Brazil if he were here.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  86. Patricia G.

    The child is a US citizen being held hostage by Brazilians who are not related to him. The US gov't needs to demand his return to the US and his biological parent. Perhaps the child's father could be accompanied by our Sec. of State for travel to Brazil for purpose of bringing the boy home.

    Apparently, there are other US children being held hostage in Brazil.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  87. dave

    please please please heidi.... with reference to the hudson river plane crash.
    they are called Canada Geese! Ask John roberts

    June 9, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  88. Bethany R.

    This story reminds me very much of a case that made headlines years ago – a little boy named Elian Gonzales, who fled to America from Cuba with his mother. As I remember it, the mother died during the escape, but a huge custody battle ensued in the U.S. based on the child's illegal status and the biological father's wishes for his son to be returned. While this was a very contentious issue in American politics and international relations (since we have a less than ideal relationship with Cuba), we still came to the correct decision: the child belongs with his closest of kin and legal guardian. Brazil needs to consider the worldwide implications of these legal battles, as their outcomes not only reflect the kind of country you would like to be, but the way others will see you and interact with you in the future.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  89. Katie

    I'm Brazilian and I can garantee you the reason behind the court's decisions – in Sean's case and all others 50+ similar cases – is the perception that Americans are cold and distant, and Sean would be raised with more love if continued to be raised by his mother's family than if raised by his "cold" American Dad. The first reference made by Brazilians about Americans is always the coldness, not the arrogance as many may think. We see ourselves as warm and joyous people. When I meet other Brazilians living in America I will eventually hear or ask for a "Brazilian hug", which is tied, long and warm. American's hugs are generally short, cold and distant. It's a cultural thing, I'm not saying it's good or bad thing, but it's certainly different. And I am 100% sure this general perception about the American's ability to give and receive love in a different way than ours is behind the court's decisions in all these abduction cases.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  90. Kathy London ON

    Lets see; another country illegally holds 60 (ish) of your citizens. Not only has your government not stepped in with sanctions or forcible removal, the situation has gone on for years, and become an international mockery. Sad for those families, traumatizing for the children, and an embarassment for your country. Step up to the plate!

    June 9, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  91. Al

    Brazilian people are great, but the legal system has a way to go. I recently saw this comment with regard to the legal system. Brazilian law is like Brazilian bikini wax, at first look, its clean and smooth, but take a another long look and you will find stubble and itching. source unknown. Sean Goldman was taken to Brazil under false pretense or kidnapped. The NJ Family court issued David Goldman custody. Brazil should abide by the Hague Treaty which they side on Child Kidnapping/Abductions.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  92. Patricia G.

    A deceitful wife and mother took the boy to Brazil with the excuse she was going on a vacation. The biological father and still husband agreed to the vacation and expected the return of his family. Therefore, the mother was commiting a crime. She was leaving in order to permanently live with her lover in Brazil. The lover was part of the plan, therefore, both of them were commiting a felony.

    It does not matter how much money and influence the Brazilian lover has. The child is a US citizen and must be returned to his biological parent and to the country of his citizenship. The political and financial power of the kidnappers does not make an appropriate argument for their keeping a US child/citizen against the will of his US adult/citizen parent.

    The situation will continue to be a standoff because of the wealthy and influential Brazilian kidnappers AND the dysfunctional Brazilian gov't. The US gov't needs to intervene and I urge the Secretary of State and the President to take serious action. What would happen if one of the Presiden't daughters was being held hostage?

    To all of you who are supporting the Brazilian kidnappers and touting the advantages of living with them and in Brazil, how do you explain a healthy young woman dying during childbirth? That wouldn't happen in the USA. To the same individuals....if a Brazilian child was detained in the US as this little boy is kept captive in Brazil, our functional government would have the Brazilian boy returned to his biological family. We have laws and we inforce them. Your government is corrupt.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  93. Claudia

    The child should be with his father, period.

    Wake up, people!!!

    June 9, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  94. Patricia G.

    In reply to Katie from Brazil.....this is not an issue of "perception", which is personal opinion. Personal opinion is not used to interpret the LAW. You think US citizens are arrogant? How arrogant is the Brazilian family to defy law and think that money can buy them anything they want....the child. It is your personal perception about how love is given and rec'd in the US compared to Brazil. This suggestion of yours has NOTHING to do with the issues of this case. I hope you are living in Brazil where you can get the style of hugs that you prefer.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  95. VictoriaNYC

    The only reason this is happening is because the family of the stepfather is extremely powerful and connected in Brazil. That is EXACTLY why this is happening. I am shocked no one has mentioned this. Speak to any Brazilian and they will tell you this. Old political and business connections are stronger than any foreigner or foreign government coming in. When the foreign government leaves, the old ties remain and payoffs and bribes will run dry if these connections are burned. Straightforward and simple. Shocked that CNN hasn't figured this out. This case isn't going anywhere until it is addressed from that point of view.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  96. Huper Nikao

    I have only two words for the govt of Brasil....'Elian Gonzales'.

    Come on Brasil do the right thing!!

    June 9, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  97. Mike M

    I noticed alot of comments regarding Shawn having a better life in Brazil. No matter where he lives, wheather its in a 1 bedroom apartment on the south side of chicago or in a mansion in Beverly Hills, as long as the child is with his Biological father who loves him, they should be together here in the U.S., the child was born in the United States and he is a United States Citizen. He should be brought back immediately.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  98. Lincoln Marston II

    How is this allowed to happen? The man is the boy's Father, even the step-father who is caring for the boy should feel remorse for the situation that has been created by this series of unfortunate events. I am forced to recall a boy by the name of Elian Gonzales and his family's dream to come to America and the battle that ensued when we all wanted to act in the boy's best interests. He was extracted to the country his family was trying to flee. Maybe Janet Reno should put a team together to put an end to this once and for all. It's gone on long enough.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  99. Joan Gilbert-Croteau

    One way Americans can show their support for David Goldman is NOT to vacation in Brazil anytime in the future.

    It is unbelievable how the rule of international law is being snubed. With over 60 children still being held in Brazil, it is about time the Haig puts more meat into international laws to protect children.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  100. Robert Tipton

    I was surprised to hear that there is so many other cases in Brazil. Why don"t we get the American consumer and businesses to join the fight and boycott any travel to or expenditures that would help this country until the country feels our pain in their pocketbooks. I think that would have far reaching effects.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  101. caroline

    All I hear so far from the media is a father battle for his son the part you ignored is the mother and the child. Why the mother left him in the first place? offcourse nobody in the media question that I don't think this guy was nice to his wife and son I think that' s why she left him and never look back , and she was a very a smart woman she married a smart lawyer , she knew what she was doing. We need to look into that . All I know is the father's story waht about the mother? I think the child is happy with his Brazillian family we need to live him alone let him be happy oviously the child does' nt want to be with his father in America. Be real people.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  102. David Blizzard

    This situation is one like the many here in the States. Not only is this a custody issue but it is an issue of father's rights and rights of the step-parent. The government should not only work on the international issue but should also deal with these situations here at home.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  103. Jeff Pingle

    How does a father like David Goldman get help? I have tried to get similar help to save my children for many years.

    David's comment of fathers commitment to protect their children; and how he is in the testing period now, rung a very loud bell with me! I have been trying for years and have had that very effort used to further label me as the "perpetrator." I cannot possibly just give up and go away in trying to get my children back, to be with them and protect them.

    PLEASE, hear me! PLEASE, let me tell you my story. You will be amazed at the depth of my resolve and efforts to be a loving, committed and protective father and husband only to have this used against me to destroy my life and kidnap my children.

    PLEASE look at the article at to get an idea of how I had my previously wonderful life as an Air Traffic Controller destroyed by a Family Terrorist.

    This is a scourge that is running wild in this country; it does not happen only in Brazil! It happens right here in America to honorable military veterans, devoted, loving fathers.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  104. nancy elias

    My family is in a very similar situation. My sons two children were abducted to Japan by their mother and her boyfriend ,both Japanese citizens.This happened on December 6,2008. She worked for the Japanese Consulate in New York and her boyfriend was a travel agent, also in New York. My son met her while he was in the Marine Corp. on tour in Okinawa. Since the story of David Goldman broke my family and I have been following it very closely. Our hearts are with him and we unfortunately know the loss. I cant imagine what he has been through for five long years! Every day is torture and the not knowing what tomorrow will bring is paralyzing. We pray the Brazilian goverment honors their committment and future participation in the Hague Convention and returns this American born child to his father. Noone should been given a permission slip to abdcut children from their homes and not be held accountable especially by a country who participates in the Hague Convention. Mr. Goldman has given every family in the same unfortunate situation a voice. Your determination to prevent this from continuing gives us hope that our children wll be given the same support in the future by focusing on the knowledge that child abdcution is child abuse and we as Americans and Internationally will not accept this.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  105. Roger

    I wrote the Brazilian Embassy over this situation... To sum it up.. Brazil is acting like a third world county. Is the judicial system in Brazil really as backward as it appears! This child is a US citizen .... He is being held by a non-custodial person (not his father) which appears against his will!

    President Obama needs to step in and directly request that this matter and the other pending child custody legal matters be resolved. US citizen fall under US laws....
    Why are there so many other US child custody matters in Brazil?

    June 9, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  106. Donna

    In response to Joanne H. statement that the father should ask for permanent residency to be with his son. Why should this father have to move so far away from everyone who he knows to be with his son, when this child should be back where he belongs, the child is an American citizen. I have a brother who had to relocate to be near his child, he was alone and isolated. His relationship with this child was controlled, to the point that he rarely had contact. This man needs his support system to get through this. As I stated before the step family should return this child to his father, they have no blood related ties to this child.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  107. Susan

    CNN has TRIED to present both sides. The Brazilian family doesn't want to go on air because they will have to answer to the American people why they are committing a criminal act. Yes people...this is a criminal act. It's called kidnapping! Sean should be with his biological father since the mother is no longer alive. Every time David has gone to Brazil he should have been allowed visitation of Sean. What is the stepfather so afraid of? That Sean would actually want to be with his father after being allowed to bond with him during visitation. Why has visitation not happened!!!

    June 9, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  108. Robert

    For those who are saying to boycott Brazil. They first have to find Brazil in the map and I will give a clue is not in Europe.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  109. Casey-Jack Kitos

    I've seen this story just a little this morning and in all honesty it's a shame that these Countries are mother favored societies. It's hard to be a father and try to gain custodial support for your child. The pain experienced with a deceitful and bitter mother I can relate to, however not the inter-country custody battle. I commend Mr. Goldman for his efforts and I would join his plea to allow his son to return to him from Brazil. I can't imagine 5 years next week. My daughter's mother ran to MI when she was still pregnant and my daughter will be 7 months old next week and I've never been able to see her! I, just as Mr. Goldman and many other fathers I've heard and seen trying to receive rights to their children emplore the United States Govenment to allow fathers to be re/united with their children that they are trying to get. It's not always the father that's a bad person, it's not always fathers in the news for hurting, maiming their children: I've seen many more mothers! It's just unfortunate that there is a long established battle with deadbeat fathers and it makes it difficult for us new fathers who desparately want to be involved in their child's life! I love my daughter and Mr. Goldman I know you love your son Sean, and I wish you the best of the best! I commend you for your efforts and I thank you because you give me hope that I may have a shot at getting my daughter!

    June 9, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  110. Tim McGregor

    What's sad is Brazil is doing nothing different then what happens here in the United States. We remove fathers from their children lives everyday for Federal Incentive Dollars. Our Government does nothing to give equal rights to fathers. Let's reform are Family Law before we try to force Brazil not to do what we do.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  111. Leonor Albritton-Cruz

    I agree with Golman that any country that awards or delays a custody and awards the custody - even temp custody - to the snatcher, which happened in my case - is giving the world the wrong message about U.S. legal system, such as my case - my story is we, as family, moved to Puerto Rico and my husband having a domineering and controlling and obsession complusive behavior tendencies started blowing big money, so I told him that we needed to save for an unsure future, but he kept up his destructive behavior, we separated and then he came back to Puerto Rico six months later with the intent to visit with child. Oh he did his visiting and put her on a plane to Florida - nightmare is only a small description of what this experience is like - I was tried for domestic violence - how could I hurt the man when I was in P.R. and he was in FLa? I had to show up for that hearing in FLa and won that case. I tried setting up emergency hearing(custody hearing0, we got a hearing 04/21/2007, he did this 02/28/2007, in the meantime her great aunt is filling her head with this statement, "your mother doesn't love you." This man expected me to forget about our child, lovely girl of 8 years-old. The judge that did this unjust ruling is in Marion county - her name is Honorable Robbins////////// Beware of her judging your family case. yes, daughter did experience and still does feel psychological damage, hence, since then, I have since reunited with husband, but it is far from easy and I hope and pray that our daughter never feels inclined to look for a domineering/controlling ,and all the other faults he has, man because I tried to leave the man, but this judge made it impossible. Goldman said the case sends the wrong message to the world about Brazil's legal system. "They're sending this message that anyone can take any child from anywhere, come to Brazil and if they can hide enough or stall enough or keep the child here long enough then they're entitled to that child? That's unacceptable." YES, IT IS UNACCEPTABLE, THANK YOU. I have Brazilian friends and I feel bad that you are being treated in such a manner. I feel for you and I feel for the child - in some ways - I cannot believe that American hasn't overruled and allowed you to take the child - plain and simple - U.S.America seems to feel like they have all the rights, at times. My daughter and I were already legal residents of Puerto Rico.LEGALLY.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  112. Katie

    In response to Patricia G.
    Have you heard what Sotomayor said about her personal story having an impact on her decisions as a judge? Judges are human beings giving their interpretation of the law. My point was the perception of Brazilian judges when deciding these cases. I know the law is the law, but I also know where I come from – a country where money and powerful names many times speak louder than the law. Lins e Silva (the step-father's name) is a huge name in law business in Brazil. As for Sean, I AM TOTALLY FOR HIM TO COME BACK TO AMERICA AND HIS AMERICAN BLOOD LIVING FATHER. My own step son was abducted from California by his American mother. After 5 years and 2 years of draining court battle my husband (an American citizen) finally got to see his son. I saw the pain my husband went through for five years without knowing where he's son was. I understand you felt offended about the way Americans are seen, but this is not my fault, honey. I admire your patriotism. Unfortunatly this is the world's perception, not only the Brazilian perception and I can garantee you most Brazilian judges keep that perception in the back of their minds when they make their decisions in these cases. I traveled all over the world – I have been to all continents – and I know what I'm talking about. I have wonderful and warm American friends, but I see the difference in the way we show love and affection. Again, I'm not saying it'sa bad thing, it's just different. American's and America have many wonderful qualities Brazilians and Brazil don't have, such as strong patriotism and law enforcement. No need to get personal, Patricia! It is what it is. I just hope and pray the Brazilian Supreme Court makes it right tomorrow and Sean is able to live with his father in America soon. Have a good day now!

    June 9, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  113. Claudia

    Reason and motherhood, besides citizenship and laws, are the facts that tell every cell in my body that Sean should live a healthy, prosperous, and happy life with the man who made him come to this world from a loving relationship.

    Forget about what happened after, and think about this brief moment for a second. The sacred moment you see your very own child for the first time and the love you feel inside for him. Based on that very same moment should all decisions be made for Sean and his dad.

    Sean should be allowed to live with his father and give him the chance to try to make things right again for HIS broken family.

    And I'm Brazilian.


    June 9, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  114. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I believe that here the persons involved did not do their homework. The Brazilians are not honoring the living parents wish. Again the American Judicial System should examine this Brazilian Judicial System. America should educate their people. A contract should have being done. I am American and I do feel outraged when some country disregards the international system. The father has rights too. I do not believe that is any of our business to find out anything about the couple relationship. The biological father and only living parent have rights. This is not a heart connection game. The Brazilian Court System is treating this any soup opera program. This case is only for more money for the attorney and the corruptive system of Brazil. I hope that the United States keep in mind this event in their International and Trade Decisions in the future. The system is clearly not working. Here we do not have share custody. The wishes of the parent in the United States are not accounted.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  115. jerry

    Has any one talked on hospitals,health centers, charging to much on everything, that would keep health insurance cost down, also.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  116. Chad

    Unbeleivable! My father lived in Brazil (Rio) during the depresion and always told me it was a wonderful place. I've been planing to visit in retirement. If that boy isn't returned to his father I won;t spend two cents to go to Brazil! It's just outrages!

    June 9, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  117. Tom Friedel

    Brazil is burning the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of the earth, and an alarming and increasing rate. Many scientific models predict the world will be basically unlivable in 100 years, with many feet of sea level rise. This may currently be the greatest crime against manking happening on the planet. And our congressman are spending time planning to sanction Brazil about a custody case????

    June 9, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  118. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Yes, we cannot stop talking about the Brazil custody case. Certainly this kind of unions should be questionable from now on by the United States. The United States does not has the time for such insensible situations. The current international laws should be evaluated and carefully examined by the United States and the tactics like these one should not be allowed. In my opinion this situation is not fare for Mr. Goldman. The people from Brazil will continue to twist the story. This U.S. child does not have a choice now because the laws never gave to minors rights. Are our laws really protecting our children? Mr. Goldman should be educating our society to not engage into those situations since the law has proven to have loopholes. We have to make ourselves to be listen by our politicians. We have a situation in which the laws and judicial system has clearly completely failed and do not exercise the rights of either the father or the child? This is not the first situation that has gain importance. When would it be good for the law to do the job? I believe that CNN is not doing anything productive to this situation. Mr. Goldman has to change his tactics or line of thought.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  119. Antonio Leite

    As a Brazilian I am deeply disturbed and ashamed for such disregard for the rule of law and the most basic principles of honesty and morality. In its merit this case is so crystal clear and simple in regard to the way the law should be applied, that it makes one astonished with what is happening. Clearly, influential power and maneuverings are being the ruler in this disgraceful incident. I was eager to hear about what the spokesman for the stepfather’s family would say live in CNN this morning. Not that I had the least expectation that he would be trustful or convincingly, for reading the well elaborated report written by Mr. Goldman's lawyer, which is available on, one can easily come to the conclusion about what is the point that is holding the solution for this case. I would like to send my sympathy to Mr. Goldman and at the same time congratulate him for the exemplary way he is conducting himself through these extreme and infamous sufferings. As to the perpetrators of this shameful deed, they will eventually come to terms with the Law of Cause and Effect which rules over all the laws and is unavoidable, infallible and effective towards us all, even the judges. Let them think about it.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  120. Mark

    It appears the mother was a gold-digger, leaving her husband for a relationship with a wealthy influential family, which is why the judicial system in Brazil has been hijacked by the kidnappers. Wake up and smell the coffee (not brazilian since I am boycotting everything from Brazil). The abductors are not peasants, and have a long history of corruption, why else would they not give an interview to CNN and present their case for keeping the child. Instead they brain wash a child, and laugh at international law.

    I had a lot of respect for Brazil until this situation came up, now I put them on the same list as North Korea. I used to travel to different countries often, but have stopped, because I don't want to find myself at the mercy of a corrupt foreign government or legal system, as well I preffer to support business where I live not corrupt foreign governments.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  121. Wendy

    For five long years David Goldman has been fighting with this powerful family in Brazil to have his son returned to him under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Lins e Silva family, the family that is holding him, are legal EXPERTS in International Child abduction. It's what their law firm DOES!! Paulo Lens e Silva, Joao Paulo's father, has been videod at conferences speaking on child parental alienation and the importance of both parents being involved in a childs life! The hypocricy of this family is shameful and yet the Brazilian Government has allowed them to thwart justice and keep Sean away from his only living parent.

    As David has stated, there are no favours being requested in his case or that of any other Left-behind parent. We only ask that the government of Brazil abide by the Conventions that it agrees to uphold! As Chris Smith stated, "The Hague is a Convention of receprocity" except Brazil has not reciprocated!!

    Sanctions MUST happen! And SEAN MUST COME HOME!!

    June 9, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  122. Jaime A. Adames

    Heidi, you are the best. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. CNN is the most trusted name in news, at least for me it is. Baby Sean must not be forgotten the way many have. Thank you once again and if there is any case such as Sean's please contact me asap at my e'mail Baby Sean's case is a reminder of why I do what I do. And is to bring our kids home. Heidi, may your dreams come true. I'm for ever in debt to you, your friend Jaime.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  123. Ronaldo The Phenomenon

    ridicolous, Brazil buys more stuff from the USA then the USA from Brazil. Do the sanction thing, lets see, its a joke. Sean wants to stay there, he wants to stay with his sister. In Brazil when someone dies, the childen take all the goods, in the USA parents can choose to donate the goods, but not in Brazil. Chiara and Sean will be partners in blood and business for the rest of their lifes(50% each). Sean has personal business in Brazil till the day he dies.Boycotting Brazil is boycotting Sean´s business too. Besides the USA is so ilegal in every international business, they can´t judge Brazil, the most legal (intenationally) here. I´m against David "the crying puppy", and pro Sean "the warrior". Brazil is about nice girls, the USA has the ugliest ones, Sean is a male.2010, the World Cup is close, lets battle in the field against the USA to decide!! Ronaldo....

    June 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  124. Liesl78

    You guys should watch the CBS coverage. They were showing the Brazilian family is very influential politically. One more thing, the stepdad was married to the mother for 10 months!!!

    To the ones questioning the mother's motives, watch Dateline.

    There are, per the State Department, 66 children taken from the US to Brazil. US has returned 7 children taken from Brazil, Brazil has never returned a child. Judges must learn how to apply the hague convention and speed up the process so abductors can't get away with comitting a crime against their own children.

    For those who think Mr. Goldman should give up, I ask you: what if Sean was your child, would you give up too?

    June 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  125. Mark

    We are the majority of people who agree that this situation must end ASAP and the boy be returned to his father. Lets vote with our greatest weapon our $'s and our voices. Contact the Brazilian embassy and let them know how a majority of us feel about a nation that protects crimminals. Their silence and lack of response to CNN requests for interviews is an obvious admission of their guilt. Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  126. dan in Tucson

    I believe it is really up to the child's welfare and wishes. Blood means nothing if you are better off with another family. I think the father is being very selfish.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  127. VictoriaNYC

    Good idea. BOYCOTT BRAZIL. Spread the word!

    June 9, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  128. Patricia G.

    Hey hit the nail on the head!! Thank you for your comment.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  129. Claudia

    Please join the facebook group "HELP US BRING SEAN GOLDMAN HOME "

    June 9, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  130. ITWARZ

    Jon Voit is out of touch. Angry, not right. – ITWAZ

    June 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  131. Keith

    Mr Voight and the Rep Party should be ashamed of themselves, since inauguration day it’s been one non-stop constant Whine!

    June 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  132. Wendy

    Ronaldo is a perfect example of the uninformed cruel attitudes of the family that are holding sean hostage and practising parental alienation. A 9 year old boy cannot decide where he wants to live when he is subjected to this type of cruelty. Every day he spends there is another day of abuse for this poor boy. Brazil must do the right thing and abide by INTERNATIONAL LAW!

    June 9, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  133. jon lester

    1st of all, Leah, you need to get YOUR facts straight...

    The Supreme court DID NOT reverse the decision of the Federal court. The Supreme court heard an "action" from the Progressive party which called the Hague unconstitutional. It's a bogus suit that will be tossed out tomorrow.

    Secondly, the Hague does state that there is an exception to returning the child in 6 weeks, but only if the child is in danger mentally or physically. He was not as documented by court transcripts (i.e. Bruna stating that David was a wonderful father.....while in court...... ).

    Thirdly, how in the world can you say that a child who has been exposed to lies and brainwashing ( as stated in the ruling of Federal judge Pinto AND the 3 pschologists ) should get a choice. He doesn't have a clue what the truth is, what the facts are, or what's best for him.

    Lastly, the reason that you don't see much from the other family is because every time they show up on American TV, they lie and get caught. Their whole case is based on lies. Even the federal judge wrote, and I quote,....... P38 Indeed, he then came to court and gave a bad explanation and a poorly rehearsed story claiming to have had to supposedly travel to the “serra”- yet his explanation was replete with inconsistencies and contradictions.

    While the other family enjoys much success in the Brazilian court ssytem, we must remember that money, power, and high placed friends are the basis on which they thrive. That's why they are terrified of having to come here and put on a case. They don't know how....seriously.....

    You can get all of the "FACTS" at

    June 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  134. jon lester

    By the way, all of this discussion is great. But I've followed this case for over a year, and have read the rulings, and know the facts of the case.....

    Some of the media outlets and some of the posters here need to do the same.....

    It is a complete outrage what has happened to Mr Goldman.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  135. jon lester

    More FACTS from the judges ruling to refute the other side's claim that Dave Goldman only started fighting after Bruna died....And to show how a FEDERAL judge in Brazil see this case.....

    page 35- Any claim that the child is comfortable in Brazil, or that it is his home, has to be connected to the fact that he may have become so because he was “at his mother’s side” a fact that is no longer true.

    But we must recognize that SEAN still has a father! He is a father, who has worked to get his son and who never abandoned his son. In addition, he never stopped trying to get custody of his child. He never gave up, and continues to fight for this, even though he has confronted difficulties.

    Even if we assume, that the date must be looked at from the first illicit taking, we note that the son was taken on 19/07/2004, and as early as 23/09/2004 the US central authority, acting, we are sure, on behalf of the father filed papers for the return of the child.

    June 9, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  136. Ronaldo The Phenomenon

    This is no news in Brazil, check the most important media of Brazil, nobody is talking about this, nobody cares, because we respect family, you don´t. There are millions of families in Brazil with 2 dads or 2 mothers, its sophisticated, 2 dads are better then one, when one of them is busy, the other one is free to play with you, like me, I have Ronald my son, he lives in Spain with his mother and cool stepdad and he travels to Brazil to party with me too(baladas).2 are better then one, unless one of them is american control freak David, here is his favorite music: Soy un Perdedor, I´m a loser baby so why don´t you kill me ....(Beck, his favorite band)David is jelaous because his own son preffer the cool step dad....

    June 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  137. silvia

    I've been pondering about this. I wonder why the mother escaped in the first place (leaving clothes and everything behind), and if there might have been a case of abuse, which prompted the mother to make sure that if anything happened to her the child would remain in Brazil with the family of her new husband.

    June 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  138. Bill Glass

    More aftermath from the last 15 years of empowering women. I am proud of the father for standing up for his rights as a man and a father. Our courts should make fairness the cornerstone, however in America we have the best court system money can buy. I just hope he has enough money to protect his rights. bg

    June 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  139. norma

    My prayers are for the Father, the son belongs to him and nobody else
    I do hope that the brazilian supreme court will rule that the father and son should be very soon together.
    good luck

    June 9, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  140. Andy

    Its complete nonsense. Brazil may be the most unintelligent country if they don't see how immoral this is. I'll never set foot in Brazil because of this, nor do I have any respect for the government if they don't return this child.

    June 9, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  141. Terri H.

    It would be preposterous to allow a child of 9, who has been alienated from his biological father for 5 years (this alienation has been proven and documented in former court proceedings in the United States AND Brazil), to choose where he would like to live. Sean's wishes are not irrelevant, but they must be taken in context with the situation (as a side note, for all of those bloggers who insist that Sean wants to stay in Brazil, they are coveniently forgetting that when first asked where he would like to live Sean responded "whatever" and said he didn't have a preference). David Goldman initiated proceedings immediately following Sean's abduction in 2004, he was never a willing absentee parent and has continued to fight for his son throughout these 5 years. Brazil should be ashamed that it took this long for the case to reach it's tipping point, not use the ridiculous time delay as a new reason to keep Sean in Brazil. I doubt Brazil and it's people want to be known as safe haven for child abductors but if Sean is not sent home to be reunited with his biological father that is exactly what will happen.

    June 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  142. Tim McGregor

    OHIO FEDERAL INCENTIVE BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS Every State makes millions of our Children
    Executive,Legislative,and Judicial Agencies include all independently elected statewide officials and the legislative & judicial agencies the appropriations for these agencies are. $316.8 million in fiscal year 2008 (5.2% above fiscal year 2007) and $326.1 million in fiscal year 2009. (2.9% above fiscal year 2008). Child support Subsidy increase county subsidy funding is increased by $17.2 million per year to minimize the impact of the federal deficit reduction act are no longer able to leverage their Child Support Incentive Fund to pull in additional Federal Matching Funds. This is why Family Law is corrupt and bais against fathers. If the system was set up to make both parents equal., are states wouldn't be able to traffic our children for FEDERAL INCENTIVE DOLLARS.

    June 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  143. Robin

    Please call the White House today and urge President Obama to do all that is possible to bring Sean home.

    The White House
    President Barack Obama
    Telephone Comments: 202-456-1111

    June 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  144. Gearz_3000

    Hello. I just wanted to say that I'm tired of hearing about the crash. Its like its the only thing being talked about and I know there is a lot of news out there like The President's new health care plan which is right on. Thank you
    P.S Just one more thing. I'm in love with Heidi Collins and i really enjoy looking at her pretty face and here her cute voice. I love you Heidi.

    June 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  145. Andrew

    It's interesting to me, as a Canadian, to watch how completely different this situation is handled and portrayed by US media compared to when the shoe was on the other foot, in the case of Elian Gonzales.

    Personally, I feel that the correct choice was made in that case, and I of course think the child in this case should be reunited with his American father. I really think that the discrepancy between how these cases are being portrayed points to disgusting hypocrisy on the part of the American media and public.

    June 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  146. Margaret JS

    We are the first to response to any tragedy around the world, we are loving, caring and hard working Americans who do not sit in judgement of others. I cannot say the same for Brittany and Caroline. To Brittany, why would any adult, American or Brazilian place the burden of choosing a family on an eight year old. Your so called strong woman, lied and ran to her lover and never looked back. (When one parent takes a child from another parent, it is never in the best interest of the child... it is called revenge! This child belongs home with his biological father just as Elian belonged with his father in Cuba. (If your so-called smart woman and her smart lawyer lover were so SMART why are there no police reports, domestic violence charges or hospital records.) To everyone out there, please think before you write!

    June 9, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  147. heather morgan (NJ)

    Hello.. Are you kidding me??? There was no interview with Sean. The quotes are of the Bianchi and Lins e Silva clan. This is what they CLAIM Sean said. Please read the article again.

    For five long years these people have done nothing but offer unsubstantiated stories. Never a shred of evidence to support their 'accusation of the day'.

    **in response to**
    June 8th, 2009 11:26 am ET
    Sean Goldman speaks in an interview for the first time. Says he want to stay with his family in Brazil and is sick that no one is listening to him.

    June 9, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  148. heather morgan (NJ)


    This should apply regardless of whether both parents approve or even accompany them. In particular when one parent is a brazilian citizen.

    Think about it. What they're trying to say now is that if a brazilian mother and american father take a trip together with their child to Brazil, the mother would be within her rights to just take the child and run. Why not? He travelled with them, so that MUST mean that he gave permission for her to abduct the child. If she can run long enough when she dies her boyfriend can take the kid..
    **Five years ago Bruna Goldman could have just as easily brought David with them on that plane and still carried out Sean’s abduction with the same cooperation from the Brazilian Government**

    By not obeying the Hague, and even going so far as to question it's constitutionality, Brazil is making a clear statement that children are not safe in their country and left behind parents have little or no power to affect change on their behalf.
    The economic sanctions are basically tit for tat. Effective maybe, but no direct correlation to David's case or the Hague. What they are proposing is putting our children at risk.

    I am outraged by the complete disregard by the Brazilian government of all Brazilian, US, and International laws and I demand that action be taken to prevent any more American children from entering the borders of Brazil. This is not US vs Brazil. This is the US defending our children from abduction.. period.

    June 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  149. Flavia

    Hi Mark , Thanks for the remark about my comment. But please, do not be arrogant. Sean has dual citizenship. Do you know what that means? Do you think that if an American Mother, who had a child that was born and raised in Brazil until the age of 4, and for whatever reason, she decided to move back to America do you think that the family court system in America will sent her back to Brazil to deal with this issue with the father in Brazil? Let me give you an answer: NO. The courts in America will not care if if the kid has a father in Brazil. The will care about how happy he/she is with he school, friends and family in America. You guys refer to Brazil as if Brazil is nothing but a jungle and a nations without laws. Forget about the step father, this is about the kid. This is what the kid wants. He wants to stay with his friend, family , going to the same school in Brazil. Further more, this child just lost his mother. This kid is not even been given a chance to cry the lost of his own mother. Putting the kid through this during this difficult time, it is beyond selfish. It is cruel !!

    And as far all the comments about this Brazilian family being " rich, influential, powerful, corrupt, etc, and using their power to influence the judicial system", I am wondering how different that it from the American culture in regards to EVERYTHING that we do? America knows how this process works better than anyone else in the world!! Go to any family court in America follow up and compare the cases of a rich influential parent ,Vs. the poor parent , what do you believe it's going to happen? We take an average of 100,000 American babies and kids from color women and immigrants and sent them to foster homes and adoptions without the do process every year in America, do you see the same thing happen to rich parents ? Look at Mr. Goldman, he is getting lots of money from this whole deal. He ain't poor no more. Mr. Goldman is being legally represented in Brazil for free. He stays in the most luxurious hotels in Brazil for free. He is getting top notch security services in Brazil for free. He getting highly paid for all those interviews from news and radio media from all over the world. Thanks to his website money is poring in.... Politicians are donating and best interest groups are donating massively to his cause!!! It's amazing.... now tell what Mr. Goldman is doing differently from the Brazilian family?

    June 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  150. Diana

    I believe Davids chances have improved since the mother of Sean has passed away, this is why the case took so long to be in the public eye.Now that shes gone there would be no reason why a son shouldnt be reunited with his Father that makes sense to us Americans. Why should this boy be rasied by a step Father when his real Father is alive and wants him in every way. I have seen the Brazilian side of the family try to make David look like a bad Father and thats why they are stating he belongs with them in Brazil. Theses people are all liars with no morals or respect for Sean or any Goverment they think they are above.They will be judged and sentenced as the Mother was sooner or later. Our Goverment needs to do more its not enough until hes on USA soil.

    June 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  151. Sashia

    I cannot imagine that the allegations by 3 court psychologists or psychiatrists that Sean is being abused mentally and emotionally have not brought about a removal of the boy due to abuse. Imagine publicly announcing knowledge of abuse, reported by professionals and no one doing anything to bring out CPS here in the states.
    Heads will roll. For the longest I was a supporter of a slow transitional change for Sean with lots of contact (albet supervised) with the Brazilian family. But I don't see that as an option. That would be KNOWINGLY subjecting Sean to further abuse.
    This boy needs to be home NOW, by helicopter from the court house, on Air Force One. Anything less is criminal.

    June 9, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  152. Flavia

    Healther Morgan,

    I have to agree with you. This is not about Brazil Vs. Us. this about Ignorant Americans living in the bubble, who perceives the rest of the world as savages !!! Those Americans believe that every nation in the world has a evil government seeking for an opportunity to attack America and abduct every America child. Yes, Heather.... I think we should declare war against Brazil on behalf of our children. This is a matter of prevention and intervention.... We should act. And we should act now! No Brazilian should be allow to came to America.. No child from a Brazilian parent should be allowed to live the United States with their children, unless he or she have a Estate Department authority to do so. We should isolate Brazil and place them in the list of terrorist nations. We need to sent a message to the Brazilian Government that only the United States has the discretion to interpret the law.

    I hope that my statement further highlights your aspirations and concerns against the nation of Brazil and it's citizens.

    June 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  153. boanerges

    First of all i believe a BIOLOGICAL FATHER has a right to his son and i feel sorry for this ordeal that GOLDMAN is going through.
    This case inflamed some americans who of course are not the most informed people (ALTHOUGH THE INFORMATION GOOD AND BAD ARE THERE) , they have a vast network of people who every day get into airwaves and TV AND newspaper(RUPERT MURDOCH) and RADIO AM Rush LIMBAUGH , SEAN Hannity, Bill O'Reilly who connect to millions and are the MASTERS OF DESINFORMATION, LIES AND DISTORTIONS OF TRUTH to achieve their goals(being filthy rich) of misleading and confusing the public, so for those listeners there is no hope they are the ignorant those who refuse to think for themselves, the MORONS who elected GEORGE W . BUSH who pushed USA 50 years back in time and that almost brought down the most powerfull nation in the world, and RUSH LIMBAUGH still there lying and lying and inflaming those listeners against OBAMA saying like "Obama didn't inherit a mess he created one" so this is RUSH LIMBAUGH hard to believe but true DERANGED LIAR .
    When i was reading some of essays i noticed some of those ignorants but also some inteligent people in both sides of the debate.
    there are misconceptions about BRAZIL of course, so let me clarify some aspects of BRAZILIAN CULTURE , although there are some social problems related to employment Brazil is a very nice place for young boys, can't say the same for USA, never heard of suicide until i came to USA , should google that to see if Brazil has a suicide rate for young boys, lets move to other themes in BRAZIL when a baby boy is born that is a joy and comemoration and there in that AWFUL THIRD WORLD COUNTRY they don't MUTILATE THE GENITALIA of their NEWBORN or so called CIRCUMSIZION in USA on the other hand that is very common except now with some insurance companies denying coverage for circumsizion some parents are finally skiping this WORTHLESS and BARBARIC (Like the ROMANS used to call it) procedure and some families now have both kinds of boys in their families the MUTILATED AND THE NON MUTILATED BOYS, so recession has some positive points at all.
    cultural differences ?????BY THE WAY MY TWO DUAL CITIZENS BOYS ARE NOT MUTILATED just they way GOD intended, my second boy when he was less than one month had to go back to HOSPITAL because of viral infection (acquired in that same hospital what we found out later) but he got antibiotics anyway , the young doctor approached me and said very worried YOUR SON IS NOT CIRCUMSIZED ,that makes very difficult to find the opening, and he pushed me to do CIRCUMSIZION in my week s old baby , what i denied and went further and explicit to my wife to get sure that they would not perform that barbaric mutilation in our son, SO THESE ARE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES of these two beautiful countries.
    Third theme in BRAZIL when a boy has too much energy and can't sit still in the classroom they don't get this RITALIN a form of crystal meth (amphetamine ??methamphetamine?) anyway that boy soon will be playing soccer and will need all that extra energy, here in the USA millions of boys are on RITALIN the teachers the principal and mostly psychiatrists and NOVARTIS) encourage the use of this powerful drug in order to calm down those" can't sit still KIDS" what is common sense in BRAZIL is not in the USA so millions of boys (and girls too) are going to become DRUG ADDICTS because of early use of these HIGHLY ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES I believe amphetamines are in the same group of controlled substances as HEROIN and MORPHINE, i have MEDICAL BOOKS "the pharmacological basis of therapeutics " and others , and doesn't take a ROCKET SCIENTIST to know that millions of these boys and older boys will become FUTURE DRUG ADDICTS, so these are other CULTURAL DIFFERENCES of BRAZIL AND USA , so cultural exchanges are positive BRAZIL HAS A LOT TO LEARN FROM USA AND VICE VERSA .
    So after all BRAZIL is not such a bad place for boys , and that kid SEAN looks very healthy and happy in those pictures that i saw, MAYBE HIS BIOLOGICAL FATHER SHOULD LIVE IN RIO find another brazilian woman(??) and problem solved . I LIVED IN RIO 3 years south or north of RIO spetacular beaches , not that bad not like some people are trying to paint it like refugee camp in SUDAN. OH PLEASE???

    June 9, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  154. Tim McGregor

    Divorce and unwed childbearing cost taxpayers at least $112 billion each year or more than $1 trillion over the last decade. This estimate from the Institute for American Values is, as the authors suggest, likely to be an underestimate.

    This staggering but plausible tally of the economic costs of family dissolution follows what we have long known about the social costs. All our major social ills – poverty, violent crime, substance abuse, truancy and more – are more closely linked to family breakdown and single-parent homes than to any other factor. A poor black child from an intact home is more likely to succeed than a rich white one from a single-mother home.

    It is hardly surprising that massive financial costs follow from this: Welfare, law enforcement, education, health care – all these budgets are justified by the pathologies generated by single-parent homes. Indeed, family dissolution not only creates costs; by destroying society's basic economic unit, it also prevents generating the wealth to meet those costs.

    Yet, even this is only the beginning. More alarming still are the political costs. For contrary to the beliefs even of most conservatives, divorce and unwed childbearing are not the products merely of a decadent culture. They are driven by government – the same government that is extracting $112 billion annually from our pockets.

    This is not to deny that we bear responsibility for all this through our sexually dissolute lifestyle, but the consequences of that lifestyle have already become institutionalized in coercive government policies. Diabolically, the very government programs advertised as addressing these social ills are the ones actually generating them. The result is a government perpetual-growth machine that will continue to expand until we have the courage stand up and unequivocally demand that it stop.

    It began with welfare. Programs advertised as relieving families that had lost the father's wages due to war and economic hardship became a bureaucratic mechanism for driving more fathers from the home. The result was the vast welfare underclass we usually associate with low-income minority communities – the vast breeding grounds of crime, drug abuse, truancy, teen pregnancy, child abuse and other horrors that soak up taxpayer dollars.

    But now it is becoming even more serious. Divorce has transformed welfare programs into mechanisms for creating fatherless homes in the middle class. And here the welfare bureaucracies go further: After driving out the fathers, they are seizing family wealth and even incarcerating the fathers.

    This criminalization of parents is not isolated. Perhaps the earliest welfare state provision was the public school system, which jealously guards its prerogatives of using children as political pawns. The recent California appeals court decision allowing the criminalization of homeschoolers is only one indication of government's increasingly aggressive stance toward parents. The federal decision in Fields v. Palmdale, ruling that parents have no right to a voice in their children's public school education, is another.

    But schooling is only one arena. The divorce machinery is even more authoritarian. The divorce apparatus has so many methods of seizing children and family assets and for incarcerating parents that it is a wonder any families remain.

    For example, child support enforcement is advertised as a way to recover welfare costs by forcing "deadbeat dads" to support children they "abandon." In reality, it has become a massive subsidy on middle-class divorce, effectively bribing mothers to divorce with the promise of a tax-free windfall subsidized by taxpayers. It is also a means for incarcerating fathers without trial who cannot pay the extortionate sums. Far from saving money, child support enforcement loses money and – far more serious – subsidizes the divorces and unwed births that generate these additional costs.

    Programs ostensibly for "child abuse" and "domestic violence" – problems also originating in single-parent welfare homes – have likewise become tools to create single-parent homes in the middle-class through divorce proceedings. Patently trumped-up accusations of child abuse or domestic violence, presented without any evidence, are used to separate fathers from their children and, likewise, to jail them not through criminal trials but through "civil" divorce proceedings and in new, openly feminist "domestic violence courts." Thus does family dissolution also undermine our most cherished due process protections.

    Further, mothers are not only enticed into divorce with promises of lucrative support payments; they are also coerced into it through threats of losing their children themselves. Mothers are now ordered to divorce their husbands on pain of losing their children through spurious child abuse accusations. Intact middle-class families now live in fear of a visit from the dreaded "child protective services" with the possibility of losing their children.

    This machinery cannot be brought under control by marriage therapy programs, as the Institute for American Values advocates. While private church-based and community efforts like Marriage Savers should be encouraged, government psychotherapy merely puts more vested interests on the public payroll. We must demand that our tax dollars stop subsiding family breakup and ills that in turn require ever more tax dollars. By subsidizing the destruction of families, we are subsidizing the progressive impoverishing of our society. Indeed, by subsidizing the criminalization of both fatherless children and fathers, we are paying for the destruction of our freedom.

    It is simply not possible to allow the family to unravel without having our civilization do the same. Yet that is precisely what we are doing.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:27 am |
  155. Tim McGregor

    A Father's Wish

    I may fail to be as clever

    as my neighbor down the street,

    I may fail to be as wealthy

    as some other men I meet,

    I may never win the glory

    which a lot of men have had,

    But I've got to be successful

    as a little fellow's dad.

    There are certain dreams I cherish

    which I'd like to see some true,

    There are things I would accomplish

    when my time of life is through,

    But the task my heart is on

    is to guide a little lad

    And to make myself successful

    as that little fellow's dad.

    I may never come to glory,

    I may never gather gold,

    Men may list me with the failures

    when my business life is told,

    But if he who follows after

    shall be manly, I'll be glad,

    For I'll know I've been successful

    as that little fellow's dad.

    It's the one job that I dream of,

    it's the task I think of most,

    If I fail that growing youngster,

    I'd have nothing else to boast;

    For though wealth and fame I'd gathered,

    all my future would be sad...

    If I failed to be successful

    as that little fellow's dad.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:33 am |
  156. Tim McGregor

    The tragedy is that the cost of family breakdown has been known for so long and yet has been wilfully ignored by politicians of both parties.

    This article is about the United Kingdom, but, with a few names and dates changed, every word could apply to the United States (Telegraph, 4/17/09). It's the long, sorry tale of anti-male, anti-family ideology and how it has deformed British society despite, at times, good intentions. It could have been written about this country by Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1968. In some ways it's a prediction of our future.

    There's nothing particularly new in Kathy Gyngell's piece. It's nothing we don't already know. We know, for example, that two-parent families are better for kids, mothers, fathers and society generally than one-parent families. We've known that for a long time. As Gyngell says of one important study by British sociologists Norman Dennis and George Erdos,

    It showed that even when economic circumstances are matched, the children of single mothers do worse, often much worse, than the children of married couples.

    We also know that government pays lip service to father involvement with children and two-parent families, and then, guided mostly by ideology, promotes family breakup and the separation of fathers from their children. Gyngell details that too, again referring to Dennis and Erdos:

    Dennis and Erdos called time on the dominant anti-marriage, anti-masculine ideology of the 1970s and 1980s on the basis of their sociological research. Men, they said, had been relegated to the margins of family life in inner cities and council estates, and they pointed to the link between lone parenthood, crime and welfare dependency. But though their thesis has undoubtedly proved to be correct and is now endorsed by politicians as diverse as Frank Field and Iain Duncan Smith, it was outgunned by what I describe as "the Polly Toynbee School of Feminism", which fostered a politically correct agenda to which politicians of both parties have genuflected.

    We know too that taxation and spending policies contribute to and support single motherhood even though we also know that single motherhood is detrimental to all concerned. And that's where the UK is "ahead" of the U.S. and may foretell our future. In the UK, single motherhood seems to be rewarded as such whereas in the States, the benefits are less direct. Here, single mothers must find a man to pay child support and/or alimony, and taxpayer subsidized childcare on their own.

    And Gyngell is right when she says that we can change this by changing government policies that promote fatherlessness and family breakup. Those policies have been in effect in some cases for some 40 years and have done immeasurable harm. But I would add to Gyngell's criticism of governmental misfeasance. Our widespread cultural denigration of men and masculinity, fathers and fatherhood, aids and abets government in the de-fathering of American children and families. And that too needs to change if we are ever to redirect our society towards healthy ends.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:42 am |
  157. David

    This is an intense thread. There is one good thing here and that is that David Goldman has a son. However this works out, he will likely be able to be with his son, either he will be given custody or he will be given visitation rights. When I was listening to you talk to David Goldman's friend, you were running pieces of video of David and Sean. Home movies. Very happy, moving, affectionate. How things are in a family where love is present. I imagine there are similar videos with Sean's Mom? I feel these blissful moments should be kept in mind. It is easy to say that and hard to do but that is in part why we are here, to ensure that such happiness, uninhibited and unfettered, the pursuit of happiness, and the beginning of so many good things for each and every person is protected as the right that it is.

    It is a sin to be so idealistic on a blog, but maybe the pts above should be mentioned for everyone's sake, for all parties in this case, so that the best possible resolution can be found.

    I imagine that it is Sean's mother who is taking the videos of Sean and David is that so? and so there was a time when things were going very well for them.

    On air you read a comment suggesting that David go to Brasil and establish residency so that he could regularly visit Sean. That's a possibility, but as one commenter noted above, it is hard for someone to leave their home country, there's a lot that a person gives up. This would be true of Sean's mother too, who left her home country of Brasil to come to the US.

    These are some of my thoughts, but there is some housecleaning as far as the blog is concerned. First of all, you have combined the blog posts of the article on your blog that noted your upcoming intvw w Bernard Aronson with the blog posts to today's article previewing your intvw with Mark DeAngelis and detailing your efforts to get a spokesperson from the stepfather's family. Some comments above address that first post, some comments above address the second post. That could be confusing to people who come to this blog. The thread flows uninterrupted and continuous, but to provide a stable brace to hold the comments you should not delete the Monday post in my opinion. At least note its an ongoing discussion. Secondly, I feel you should provide video of both interviews. Thirdly, we're still getting scant detail of the court proceedings when there are I gather reams of court decisions that you could quote from.

    I hesitate to get into all that but if you're going to honestly report, is there any other way?

    Why do I have the idea that David Goldman is also a lawyer?

    I don't think it would be your fault if you combined two or three blogs into one post, but turning on the discussion and not letting viewers and people posting comments know that this is blog is supported by now four different interviews and how they interconnect is a problem.

    The mother's side of the story needs to be reported.

    I feel it's unfair that David Goldman was denied visitation rights for how long? And why?

    I feel you have to get into the details of the Hague Convention's rules for returning a child back to his home country for a custody hearing.

    These are my thoughts right now.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:59 am |
  158. MD

    Does the step father and Sean's maternal grandparents have any clue as to the damage that they are causing Sean. They are alienating him from his only living parent. I just hope that Sean will be okay after all of this is over.

    June 10, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  159. Tania M.

    Dear Heidi,

    I do believe Sean has to be with his biological father. But as a journalist myself, I would suggest your team to try (I know you're trying) to listen to the "other" side of this story. It is said that David only asked for his boy 2 days after the death of Sean's mother (and never tried to see him before in Rio – only had his passport stamped in Sao Paulo), when the family was still in shock with her death. At this point, Sean doesn't speak English and had lost his mother – so it would be unfair to him, to loose everyone else from one moment to another to live with someone (who, of course, loves him) in another country. This has to be made smoothly and not from one minute to the other. It is also said that the Brazilian family gave David an apartment, not to mention the money he got from NBC to fly first class to Brazil. So check this, because this all goes far beyond any written law. What went on between that couple (David and his wife), no one would ever know. But now, Sean has a life with friends and school in a lively city – and a little sister. This change in his life cannot be from night to day. Please, check both sides.

    June 10, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  160. Ronald Tuten

    I think this is crazy that the Government in Brazil has stopped this child from being returned to his biological Father. Remember the adopted child in the U.S. that was taken away from his adoptive parents and returned to Cuba?

    Where is our Government now when David Goldman needs them? I think all AMERICANS should cancel any vacation plans to Brazil until Sean is returned to his Father.

    The entire country and other countries should boycott Brazil until the Government WAKES UP and does the right thing and returns Sean to his Father.

    This child should have been returned to his father when his Mother died. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

    Enough is enough. Send Sean back to the USA where he belongs.

    June 10, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  161. Sheryl

    At first, I was very sympathetic toward this father, but then I began to wonder: Why does a woman claim she is going to visit her parents and never return to her husband. She was obviously running away from him. Is anyone asking WHY???? Why did she leave?? Please don't allow the beautiful face to fool people. It's time for the media to start asking these hard questions.

    June 10, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  162. Janise

    I wish this Mr. Goldman lots of luck. The courts in Brazil have been playing a game with him and his son that is not amusing. This man deserves to have his son returned. I agree with him that what is being done to his son is parental alienation. It does not surprise me because Alec Baldwin went through parental alienation and so has my husband. The only difference is that Alec has some money to fight in the courts. But, my husband does not. This is not right can't the courts realize that they are harming the childhood of these children and even hurting their siblings. I really believe that it is a game of who can spend more money in court proceedings or who you know. This is wrong my husband suffers daily with not seeing his daughter and knowing she is being brainwashed. This is unfortunate. This story of Mr. Goldman should not surprise anyone because I am sure it happens often in family courts. It is just not heard of because it is not an international case like Mr. Goldmans. But, my advice to all is to keep the faith. When your honest the truth will set you free it is only a matter of time. God Bless all these children. One day these children will search for the dads they were not given a chance to know I truly believe this.

    June 10, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  163. Robin Stanley

    I don't understand why CNN is even covering this story. It is a family court item. More suited to a local paper, not a national news 24/7 operation. There are many more stories that actually impact large numbers of Americans. This one does not. We rely on CNN to provide info we need to know. I don't need to know about this.

    June 10, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  164. bvillebee

    Karen McGinnis was soooo wrong about that thunderstorm
    Lubbock not Midland/Odess plus she placed Yocham TX which is in the southest part of the state up near Lubbock

    June 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  165. Norm Bleistein

    This is tragic for all parties involved. It is a pity that they cannot come up with a solution that is better than these either/or towards which they are looking now. I believe that there are political issues at play here, as well. The US requires Visas from visiting Brazilians, so Brazil requires Visas from visiting US citizens. We also restrict import of Brazilian fruits and vegetables. There bananas are better than ours and their papayas are almost a throw-away fruit that is better than what we can get here from Mexico. I believe the problem is that US corporations don't control Brazilian produce the way they do with the supplies we do receive. Free trade? Excuse me! Although one-to-one relations between us and Brazilians are really great, I believe there is a long memory and latent hostility for our CIA overthrowing a legitimate socialist government and replacing it with a junta long ago.

    June 10, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  166. Isabel Feinberg

    I agree that the child belongs with his real father. To keep a child from his maternal parent is a cruel act. Also, a child should not be given a decision like this to make, he's too young! Father and son should be reunited as soon as possible. This back and forth confrontation is only
    adding to the emotional strain on the child! Give him back to his father!
    Thank you, Isabel

    June 10, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  167. rr

    Is not a logical reason to leave the child in Brazil. He has a father and this gemtlemans need to grant the right to the kid to have his Dad. Ego it is playing a roll hereBrazil laws are screw up
    Brazilian need to let the kid come home is not a reason why want to keep a kid that don't belong to him. The best thing he can do for the chield

    June 10, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  168. Christine Schmitt

    I follow this case very closely and have been watching Heidi's coverage. Thank you for taking interest in David's fight.

    I had to post this message in response to the comment you read on air just a few minutes ago. A woman wrote in stating that the wishes of Sean should be considered, and that if he wanted to stay in Brazil he should be allowed.

    Has this woman no sense of the extreme importance of a parent-child relationship? And that Sean is only 9 years old and he cannot possibly be allowed to make such a decision, especially as he is a victim of a severe form of child abuse known as Parental Alientation. Afterall, when Sean was only 4 and he was about to be kidnapped by his mother, if she asked him "Honey, do you want to never see your wonderful loving father again and move to a foregin country and leave your daddy, your friends, your family, your school, your toys, your bedroom, your house, your cat, and all the comforts that you know and love behind?" Sean would have said no then, and he did in his own way by crying and crying over missing his father. Such a tragedy.

    Honestly Heidi, I know you are only reading comments from your blog as they come in, but such ridiculous and demeaning comments in the face of David's nightmare should really not be given a voice on your news program, to be heard by millions of people across the world. Please leave them on the blog for people to read to learn of other's opinions. That being said, I admire your journalistic integrity for showing David's fight to the American people, and look forward to your coverage of today's Supreme Court hearing.

    visit www/ for more information

    June 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  169. Kimberly

    We should boycott Brazil until the boy is returned to his father. He was wrongfully taken from him years ago. If the boy is asked who he wants to live with he may fear repercussions from the family he is living with as it sounds like they could be and probably are trying to turn him against his father. If the truth was known, the boy probably wants to be with his father from what I have seen reported on this case. If the government refuses... I would hire a professional and take him back!

    June 10, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  170. Nelson

    CNN and the other news aggregators and outlets should be putting pressure on Hilary Clinton to do the job for which she was hired by the President. You people do nothing to challenge incompetence and ineptitude in our government.

    A crime acknowledged by the international community was committed by David's late wife. The Brazilian government has nothing to correct the injustice by force. We need to remind the Brazilian government that the family who kidnapped Sean are accessories to the crime and are accomplices to the kidnapper.

    Mrs. Clinton needs to get out of the Brazilian President's bed, stop all the bedroom talk, and put an ultimatum before the Brazilian President: turn over all children kidnapped from the United States or feel the wrath of the our economic and military power at your front door in 7 days! If they do not comply, then we start with all economic actions that will make Brazil hurt badly within 30 days. If they still don't comply, then we send in the FBI hostage rescue teams we have been training in Quantico for many years.

    June 10, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  171. JoshfromMichigan

    Brazil? Who likes Brazil? Honestly the sign treaties with our country but let their citizens kidnap our own citizens? This is complete trash the father of this child deserves better and I very much pray to God they give him "his", son back.Brazil is a country full of tyranny, and they're a very evil goverment.

    June 10, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  172. Larry Gwin

    I am a financial planner who works with business owners. None of them want to be in the healthcare business.

    I have three suggestions to help fix healthcare.

    1. Create a commission that regulates what providers and insurance companies can charge. Similiar to utilities, they have to prove and justify their cost increases.

    2. Make insurance premiums tax deductible for everyone, not just corporations.

    3. A single payor system. There is too much fraud, bending of rules, lying and cheating to get someone covered. The hoops someone has to jump through to get coverage is unbelievable. Very few people in their 50's can retire because they cannot get or afford health insurance.

    Another idea is to have all politicians find and pay for their own health insurance instead.

    June 10, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  173. j

    A sperm donor does not a Father make...Very difficult Perhaps the child in question should be consulted

    June 10, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  174. Flavia


    CNN screwed this up, big time!!!


    The child left the country with his biological mother. Biological mothers are not kidnappers! Do you understand that? Have you had a mother? Were you born from a woman? If you did, do you believe that your mother had the obligation to care and protect you ? Do you think perhaps that Sean"s mother had equal obligation to care and protect her child? Or because she is a Brazilian Citizens her rights as a women and mother should not be taken in consideration? What is your point?

    And are you sure that Brazil is the Tyranny country and government? By any chance do you know a country name United States of America? Well, at this country, government invade nations, kill hundreds of thousands of women and children for oil, and we torture people that had done nothing to their citizens. Further more, they abuse their judicial power against their own women and others around the world, and do you expect a immigrant women to navigate the court system of America seeking for support , protection and justice, confidently? I think you should step out of your church for a while and start to get to know the world around you, a bit.

    Cristine schmitt,

    Please try to understand that there is no such thing as " Parental alienation" . Do you know where this term came from ? It came from a psychiatrist, a very crazy one,name Richard Gardner, who in 2003 kill himself ( he grabbed a knife and stabbed him self like a crazy man ,that he was). Gardner was a fathers rights advocate. He alleged as "scientific", that every women that was seeking to protect them children from their abusive husband/ father were mentally ill. So, he wrote several articles, books on the issue of PAS. He made lots of money. Hundreds of thousands of women lost custody of their children in American and around the world based on his "scientific findings". The issue however, was that Mr. Gardner hated women and he could not hide. So, few scientist and mental health professionals from around the world, pick up on that, and decided to look at theory of "PAS". Their findings were that Mr. Gardner " PAS" theory was inconclusive and that he should be immediately removed from practice and no "scientific"recommendations of his, should be taken in consideration. So......... Mr. Gardner lost his practice, his lincense , all of his written materials were dismissed, discredited, made fun of it. No judges, mental health professionals, social workers in American were allowed to considerate PAS as a source for custody matters, again. In the meantime, Mr. Gardner was diagnosed as a Psychopathic . He was hospitalized few times for attempting suicide and he finally succeed to kill himself in May of 2003!!!!

    Now,what it terrifies me about Mr. Goldman is that he is using the " Parental alienation" issue to refer to this case. He could not pick a worst hateful reference to refer to this case. So, I keep going back on the issue of " happy family , nice dad" VS. "Crazy Brazilian wife and kidnapper", and it is not making sense. This guy knows his stuff. He knows how to manipulate the system. I think that this guy could care less about his son. This is about agenda.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  175. Joyce

    About time the stepfather's cruelty stop! A son belongs with his father and shame on the Brazilian government for allowing this charade to continue. David Goldman has suffered too long and his son's childhood damaged by a selfish stepfather.
    David Goldman our prayers are with you. Wishing you to be reunited with your beloved son who has every reason to be proud of your love for him, your resilience, persistence and courage.

    June 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  176. Kim

    David Goldman should not have to fight so hard and long to get
    his own son back. The stepfather has no blood relation to Sean and
    should not of been granted temporary custody in the first place. Tragic
    as it is Sean has only one living parent. 3 court appointed psychologists wrote long reports that stated Sean has been subjected to severe parental alienation since 2004. Joao Paulo Lins E Silva the stepfather told Sean that his father abandoned him. How is that not parental alienation? Visitation for David is only allowed in their courtyard with a third person standing 3 feet away video recording their timed visit. Father and Son are never allowed any alone time. How is that not parental alienation? Grandma Nonna tells Sean: tell David (not DAD) that he can not take any pictures of you anymore. This family is beyond cruel....

    June 10, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  177. Flavia

    Accordingly to the State Dept there is over 65 kids kidnapped from the U.S to Brazil. As the Goldman case became a such a high profile , I am wondering why the state department or the parents of those 65 kids are not coming forward ? I want to know more about those families, the circunstances/ accusations and the ages of those children. I think that the State Department has an obligation to provide evidences supporting their allegations. I would also ask the State Department to provide information about the number of foreigner kids that have been kidnapped to the United States and what's being done.

    June 11, 2009 at 2:06 am |
  178. Tim McGregor

    ” Parental alienation” is a fact and it does happen

    The Long History of PAS

    This piece is by reader/contributor Richard Stephens.

    Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) gained its well-known name in 1985. But few people know its history before then. Vocal opponents of the diagnostic term (and its formal description) frequently claim that PAS is nonexistent and that it was “invented” in 1985 by Dr. Richard Gardner. Are the naysayers correct?

    The historical record reveals that they are not. Abundant evidence exists to demonstrate that the particular form of nastiness which we now call parental alienation has been around – and widely recognized – for a very long time. It just had different names before 1985.

    Pre-1985 parental alienation cases reveal a varied terminology: “(an attempt to) alienate the affections of the child from other parent” (Ball case, 1827); “poisoning the minds of the children against her” (Guillot case, 1877); “secreted the children for the purpose of alienating their affections from her” (Hyland case, 1883); “husband and his family have exercised an undue influence over the boy and has inoculated (him) with hatred toward her, so that he is now not desirous of seeing her” (Carter case, 1904).

    There are even pre-1985 pictures, snapped by courthouse news photographers and published for the world to see. The top photo above, from 1952, shows 9-year-old Marlene Matchan seated next to her maternal grandmother, hysterically crying and shouting at her alienated mother, “Get away from me!”

    Los Angeles Judge William McKay just minutes before had admonished the grandmother (who had been looking after the girl following the mother’s divorce) with these harsh words: “You have brutally poisoned the child’s mind against your own daughter. If you do not desist from further interference I will see that the proper authorities investigate your activities.” Granny’s efforts to convince the judge that Marlene’s mom was a habitual drunk who had in the past never demonstrated any interest in the child simply backfired.

    The shocking photographic evidence made this case a national news story. One Wisconsin paper ran the picture on the front page with the headline: “Child Tortured in Custody Case.”

    In the end, Judge McKay was proved right. Once Marlene was removed from the influence of her toxic granny, she quickly adjusted and two weeks later told the court she was glad to be back with mom.

    A similar scene is depicted in a 1950 photo at right above. Here Starr Anne Schneider, a tormented 10-year-old whose mother had just won custody from an alienating maternal grandmother, resists her mom’s tender efforts to comfort her.

    June 11, 2009 at 2:15 am |
  179. Leah

    The Brazilian family is fighting for the right for Sean to be heard and listened to. They are fighting to prevent more trauma being brought to this boy who just lost his mother. Sean has said repeatedly to the court and their psychologists that he wants to stay in Brazil with the stepfather he calls Dad, his sister and his grandparents.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  180. Rick

    It is an atrocity that this case has gone on as long as it has.

    If Brazil does not return the child, we as a country and as US citizens should halt any and all trade with Brazil. If you are planning a trip to Brazil or doing trade with Brazil, please seriously consider canceling all such activities. They have to get the message that such abuses can and will not be tolerated and as amaericans we need to stand up for each other. This could happen to any of us.

    If they won't listen to what we have to say, then we must show them by cutting off the money supply. Hopefully, this will deter them from doing this in the future as well.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  181. Angela Colson

    I am from Brazil and I heard what the representative from new Jersey said about the step father’s boy, that he is an abductor and I think he should know better how to use words because the step father is just doing what he promise to his wife that he would take care of her boy.
    And by the way, I think if that mother fled the Country maybe was because she was afraid of what David could do to her or her son. I would be very skeptical in returning this boy to his real father because I am not sure if he is a trustworthy person to take care of a child

    June 11, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  182. Sue Crumbo

    I dont get it....this is a father vs a step father. In what world does the step father have any rights to this child at all. My heart goes out to the real father, this must be his worst nightmare. He should get his son back

    June 11, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  183. Ricardo

    June 11th, 2009 12:14 pm ET

    Has anyone ever considered the possibility that the mother might have had reason to flee the father? That she may have been right not to want contact between the father and son? It could happen!!

    Apparently (I say this because I am not a woman), the bond between mother and child is the strongest possible in the world. In that case, if the father mistreated the nuclear family unit (for example drug abuse, beatings, etc), the mother would be more than morally correct to leave him – and take the child. This argument could be strengthened by the fact the father never went to visit the child, and only took action once the mother was dead. Why did he not do this before? Was he afraid that the mother might proverbially ’spill the beans’? Now she’s dead, her side of the argument is gone too…. And who’s to know? Maybe he didn’t visit because he was unable or unwilling to spend the money required to travel and stay in a faraway land like Brazil.

    Another possibility is that the father is trying to do this to get money from the child’s mother’s family, a prominent wealthy family in Rio. Dire economic times may motivate some to despicable acts. I’m not saying this is the case, but if the recession has hit the modelling industry, an extra source of income (lets call this funny-alimony) coming from a rich Brazilian family (yes, they exist…) might be an attractive idea for those persons so motivated.

    Further, might it not be better for the child to be brought up by his prominent and wealthy Brazilian family where he will lack nothing while growing up, than in a financially challenged makeshift family in the USA? A crucial point here is the relationship between family members in Brazil. Call it the latin heritage (things are similar in Italy) or whatever you want, on average parents ‘give’ more to their children in Brazil than in most other places. Ask anyone you know who has had intimate contact with Brazilian households. Parents (and the vast majority of family members) go a long way to make their kids happy; even further, kids usually live in the parents’ home until they get married, a far cry from parts of the world where kids are shipped away from home so soon as they enter university (which they have to usually pay for by themselves – without any help from the family).

    Finally, has anyone ever considered if the case was the opposite? A Brazilian father trying to ‘rescue’ his assumedly kidnapped son from the USA? I dare say that the likelihood of the child being returned to Brazil would be very very slim to none.

    I am not saying that my points are true – I know nothing as a matter of fact… Nothing about anything… And this text is just my humble opinion. However I think people are being way too quick to judge in this case, and the ‘patriotic fever’ is clouding their clear thinking. Listen to the arguments, ALL available arguments, THEN make up your mind. Try to empathise…

    June 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  184. Elizabeth

    Unfortunatelly, Brazil is a country where the small powerful wealthy elite rules everything (executive, judiciary, legislative, media, military, etc, etc). Whatever, Sean's stepfather wants is currently translated into law in Brazil.
    It is a concept that most Americans find difficulty in understanding. It is like OJ Simpson times a million. Money, influence and fear are the words to describe the family of Sean's stepfather. You have no idea of what they are capable and their afiliates. They have no limits.
    Poor Psychologist, attorney, lawmen, clerk, etc that stay against them.

    June 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  185. Flavia


    Thanks for taking the time to go over your 1800's files. I am sorry to inform you that no current scientist will support the theory of "PAS". And if you know of any mental health professional that is suggesting / recommending child custody evaluation on basis of Dr. Gardner's hallucinate "PAS" issue, you should call your local board of mental health professional and have the issue addressed. Dr. Gardner was a crazy selfish , hallucinated disgusting man. I am glad that his gone!

    Every person that is given an opportunity to live free of abuse , most likely will do well. Sean's case, however, does not apply as a matter of child abuse. He lives with a health stable family . He gets lots of love, excellent care, best education/ school . Sean love his friends, adore his sister; and throughout his life ,his mother, her family and his step -father, made him aware that he has a biological father. If you look at the pictures of them ( Goldman and his child) interacting in Brazil, they look like a best friends. They smile at each other. The huge. They kiss.... I can not imagine if this child was being " isolated" from his biological father, that he would behave so positively towards his dad. Sean just want o be where he is , for now. Things may change later. But for now, he want to be with his family and his little sister in Brazil. Sean is a highly mature for his age. He articulates his feelings really well . He said over and over again, that his mother always talked to him about his biological dad. She kept pictures of his biological dad in his room, and by all counts the biological dad is the one who refused to be around. We need to remember that every single family court, juvenile court, adoption proceedings/ placement , etc... will not remove a child who is living exceptionally well with his/ her current family after 5 years, and brutally place he/ she in a new home. It not going to happen in AMERICA!! Why are we pursuing and marginalizing the government of Brazil and Sean's Brazilian family for looking after Sean's best interest?

    Angela Colson,

    No doubt that Goldman was up to something. This guy ain't no angel. I think that his ex- wife kept a low key on the issue because of her social status in Brazil . She just want to walk way without making much fuss. Which in a way , was a good thing, because if she ganged around, the court system here would make sure to further victimize her. Further victimization of abused women, is what our courts do best!!

    June 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  186. Flavia


    Do you know what I think that we need to do against Brazil ? I think we should go there I kidnap every Brazilian child that is living on the streets of Rio de Janeiro , and bring them to America. I think that will infuriate the Brazilian government ! What is Brazil thinking? With so many children living on the streets, why they are aiming at America children? Crazy people.... If you adopt few , I will do the same . Let's do it. That will hurt Brazil. Because as far as the trading issue is concern, United States it's not doing that well to make as much influence or difference. few years, Brazil has employing Americans quiet extensively.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  187. marcia

    Teh boy is ina confort of living with his grandmother who is a completly devoted to him and his sister. the boy is in the most expensive school in Brazil and adapted to his life. His father choose not to see hhis son for 5 years instructed of his lawer to caracterize a kidnaping from Sean mother. So now we have to look at a boy traumatized with the loss of his mother and a father that he doesn remenber.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  188. Leslee

    Brazil should not be granted the Olympic Games in 2016 until they start to abide by their international commitments. In this instance, with regard to kidnapped and abducted children. Their behaviour is absolutely disgraceful. Readers need to express their views to the Olympic International Commitee.

    June 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  189. Michelle

    People need to remember that Sean was ABDUCTED.

    No good will come out of a wrong act, and that was the one that started it all.

    June 12, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  190. Jeff Pingle

    Another Brazilian nails it...

    Ricardo above (June 11th @ 12:45) said it best about himself... " I know nothing as a matter of fact… Nothing about anything…"!!

    I couldn't agree more! You know nothing!

    June 16, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  191. Jeff Pingle

    A mother doesn't have to go to Brazil to "just take the child and run;" they can do it right here in America! Take it from somebody who knows.

    June 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  192. Jeff Pingle

    Tim McGregor,

    You ROCK!

    I hope you can find a way to contact me! Find me. Help me. Help my children.


    June 16, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  193. Michelle Morel

    Unfortunately the media is all focused on the father and not the boy, the boy MUST know his father, but given the situation should be done initially in small does, i.e. short visits, before the child regains a relationship with his father.

    My son Christopher Nochera was abducted by his father and taken to Brazil for 18 months. Christopher reminded me after a long talk with him not to be angry or hate his father that it will only hurt him in the long run and me continuing to say, he needs to just let go of the anger. He reminded me that he was taken for 18 months, and in his life, its a long time, he asked "how much time would that be of your life? 7 years. I responded. "Well, if you were stolen from your family for 7 years and someone told you not be angry how would you feel?".

    Christopher has been back 5 months, and is going thru major trauma as a result of the abduction. We must ALL think of the child first. We must consider, How long has Sean not been with his father?whom is he bonded to? How is he affected by being away from who he is bonded with? How do we begin to reestablish a relationship with the father intialy, to degree, that is not stressful to Sean? These small doses will also help to facilitate trust, between the adult parties in Sean's life. Seperation trauma in a very painful expereince, Sean has already lost his mother and bonded with the mothers family. Taking that away in one fell swoop would be devastating to Sean. Let's think about the child and not our selfish needs.

    June 16, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  194. Cheryl

    I am an american. I encourage all americans who are upset with the situation to educate themselves regarding US immigration policy. You will be shocked at what you find out. The US has the worst immigration policy and most unfair and abusive system in the world. We need to focus on the atrocitiies that we are committing here as a nation - first. Please americans educate yourselves about what is going on here within our system and in accordance with our policies and laws. It is horrendous and so sad.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  195. john o snoberger

    If the kid wants to come back to the United States he should be allowed to but, if the kid wants to stay there it is up to his Dad.
    john ca.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  196. al hamel

    What is the story behind the story. waht caused this woman to leave her husband in the first place. Why is that this child does not want to return home to his biological father. Is there something missing in this story besides the poor me father.

    December 22, 2009 at 2:06 pm |