Paulo Lins

Also see Nine Days in December “The Christmas Miracle” which recaps the critical days leading up to the repatriation of Sean Goldman.

David Goldman saw his son Sean today for the first time in four and a half years. The visitation was a success. Out of respect for the Brazilian courts who have asked that details remain private, we will defer to the media accounts of the visitation.

* WABC-New York Eyewitness News (Jeff Pegues), story will be on the 11:00 News tonight

* Asbury Park Press (Bill Handleman), story will be on the front page tomorrow

* KYW1060 AM Radio in Philadelphia, Cheryl Ann Elias will have an interview with Congressman Chris Smith and an update on the story tomorrow morning in the early AM slot

* The Today Show, Tue Feb 10, around 7:30am they will have a 2-3 minute update on the case

* The Today Show, Wed Feb 11 at 7:15am will have a live interview with Rep Chris Smith discussing the case.

* The Today Show will have David on as a live guest upon his return from Brazil, perhaps later this week or next

In the meantime, please keep emailing, writing and calling people who might help.

Our sincerest thanks to Congressman Chris Smith, NBC Dateline, Jeff Pegues of WABC, NBC Today Show, Bill Handleman of the Asbury Park Press and especially You!

2: US Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez issue press release and letter to President Lula of Brazil


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today called on Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to follow international law and assist in the return of Sean Goldman to his father in the United States .  Sean Goldman, who is eight years old, was taken to Brazil by his mother Bruna Goldman in 2004 and kept in Brazil without the consent of the boy’s father – David Goldman.  David Goldman has since waged a legal battle to get his son back.

Bruna Goldman passed away in 2008.  Sean is currently in Brazil with his stepfather.  In January, Sen. Lautenberg personally met with David Goldman and U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Clifford Sobel in separate meetings about the abduction case.  A copy of the Senators’ letter is attached and pasted below:

We are writing to bring your attention to an international custody dispute involving David Goldman, a United States citizen from New Jersey , and his son, Sean Goldman.  In 2004, Sean, a United States citizen, was taken to Brazil by Mr. Goldman’s late wife, Bruna Goldman, for a two-week vacation.  Once in Brazil , Mrs. Goldman informed Mr. Goldman that she would permanently stay in Brazil with the child without Mr. Goldman’s consent. Since that time, Mr. Goldman has not been permitted to visit with or gain custody of his son, even after Mrs. Goldman’s death in 2008.

The failure to return Sean to Mr. Goldman appears to be in direct contradiction to the intentions of the Hague Convention.  It is our understanding that Mr. Goldman has been prevented from securing the return of Sean to the United States based upon Article 12 of the Hague Convention, which states that it is within a judge’s discretionary power to refuse return of a child if the application for return is made more than one year after the date of the taking and the child has become settled in the new environment.  However, this application of Article 12 hardly seems fair under these circumstances, and seems inconsistent with the language and purpose of the Treaty.  Mr. Goldman did petition for the return of his child within a year of his being taken to Brazil .  Additionally, it would set a dangerous precedent to deny parental rights based of the length of time for which the parent was denied access to the child and time-consuming judicial proceedings.

Further, with the death of Bruna Goldman, any possible argument of the child having become acclimated in the care of his Mother has dissipated.  Mr. Goldman is Sean’s remaining biological and legal parent.

As we are sure you can appreciate, these four years have been extremely painful for Mr. Goldman.  He has not been permitted to see his son Sean since 2004 – and even when Mr. Goldman traveled to Rio de Janeiro in October 2008 for visitation ordered by the Brazilian court, Sean was hidden from him and those rights were violated.  Many diplomatic efforts have been made to ensure Sean’s return to his father.  The U.S. Embassy in Brazil has repeatedly urged Brazilian authorities to recognize Mr. Goldman’s paternal rights and the international and national laws that favor his case. Furthermore, the Special Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, the central authority for the Hague Convention in Brazil, has sent a request to the Office of the Attorney General for the return of Sean to the U.S.