Why isn’t Sean Goldman Return to New Jersey yet?

The Sean Goldman case in the Brazilian Courts represents the problems that exist in any legal system. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. But usually it takes much longer than it should. However, that doesn’t make it right!

As many custodial embattled parents are told, the legal system rarely takes a child away from any biological parent unless that parent. As I once heard, even crack cocaine mothers retain some right to custody of their child. But in the Sean Goldman case, the Brazilian courts have still not transferred custody over to David Goldman an ensured that his son was on a plane back to New Jersey, U.S.A.

In the Elian Gonazlez case, it took then Attorney Janet Reno to take Elian Gonzalez with force and ensure he was on a plane back to Cuba, despite the political differences that existed between both countries.

To this American, it appears that Joao Paulo Lins e Silva, has either paid off the Brazilian Courts or it is the Brazilian pride that is keeping this child from his biological father. I personally don’t understand which one it is, but I truly hope that the Brazilians eventually do the right thing in the best interests of this child. As most of us in the family abduction community have experienced, parentally kidnapped children are resilient and when they are returned to their left behind victim parent — they will go on to live a very good life. David Goldman will be a good parent, and it is very wrong for the Lins e Silva family to challenge that.

The Lins e Silva family are lawyers. They would argue the case for their interests regardless of the circumstances. We must not forget that it was originally David Goldman’s former spouse that kidnapped the child, and that’s an issue that the Lin e Silva family would like us to forget. If we switched the circumstances and it was David Goldman who kidnapped his son from Brazil and after residing in the United States, remarried and it was his new wife that had custody, I’m sure the Lins e Silva family would be in the United States arguing for custody just as David Goldman was. And I’m sure just like Elian Gonzalez, the American Court System would do the right thing.

Okay, Brazilian Courts, it’s time for you to man-up or court-up and return Sean Goldman to Jersey. I urge all American’s to boycott travel to Brazil until this happens.


3 Responses to Why isn’t Sean Goldman Return to New Jersey yet?

  1. Peter Martins says:

    Dear Sir,

    As a Brazilian national I can assure you that what takes place in Brazil is not a problem of slow Justice. Brazil has a state policy of child kidnapping, the slow Justice system is simply the chosen way to implement that. There are thousands of cases, no return is even enforced. I said ever.

  2. Peter Martins says:

    Dear Sir,

    As a Brazilian national I can assure you that what takes place in Brazil is not a problem of slow Justice. Brazil has a state policy of child kidnapping, the slow Justice system is simply the chosen way to implement that. There are thousands of cases, no return is ever enforced. I said ever. No corruption is really needed because it is state policy.

    Brazil will make the Goldman case the odd man out. The one in which return was actually enforced. Nothing will change unless there is insurmountable international pressure.

  3. Judge Pinto’s decisions in June 2009 were correct. As he said in one opinion: Hopefully, the Brazilian Court will act promptly to order the return of Sean to his father.

    Among other important rulings, Judge Pinto said that, in fact, there was now a second abduction (the second by the step-father who had no legal right to keep Sean after Bruna died). Lins e Silva will not be allowed to use the defense that Sean is “adapted to Brazil” and he cannot claim that Sean’s “habitual residence” was Brazil at the time of the second abduction (wrongful detention). Upon the death of his mother, the right to custody of Sean as a matter of law — Brazilian law, no less — passed to his biological surviving parent, David Goldman. Since Goldman filed his second petition for return under the Hague Convention only 35 days after Bruna’s death, the defense of adaptation to the new environment won’t be accepted.

    To quote Judge Pinto:
    “In other words, and thinking in theory, it is not reasonable – indeed, it reaches the level of surrealism – to admit that a given person, devoid of familial power upon the minor – a third party -, objects to the delivery of the child to the father or the mother, or both, under the basis that the child is integrated into their new environment.

    “To admit this possibility means to open dangerous gaps capable of constituting real absurdities. And the absurd, as is well known, cannot find refuge in the Judiciary.”
    [My emphasis]

    Judge Pinto then gave an example . . . theater of the absurd . . . stranger kidnaps child, raises child as his own, gets married, now the child has a “father” and a “mother” . . . and later “siblings.” Can anyone reasonably believe that the law would reward the kidnapper by refusing to return the child to his lawful parents (who have tracked him down) on the claim that the child is “adapted to Brazil?”

    “Of course not!” (His exclamation mark) Judge Pinto said that it would be convenient for the court to leave the decision to Sean, but that doing so would be irresponsible and cowardly.

    Explaining the difficulty in reunification, Judge Pinto discusses how Lins e Silva thwarted the court-ordered visitation by not being present when in October 2008 he was to allow David Goldman to see Sean and how later Lins e Silva placed restrictions on the visitation that were not in the court’s order (confinement to the grounds, a supervisor within feet of David and Sean, for example).

    My entire summary of Judge Pinto’s June Decisions may be read here: http://tinyurl.com/lsfa8k

    Other articles about David and Sean Goldman on my Blog may be accessed here: http://tinyurl.com/lcjk59

    Jeanne M. Hannah

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