Has anyone followed the story about David Goldman, who hasn’t seen his son for four years — and has been doing everything to get him back?
It all started when David drove his wife, Bruna, and their son, Sean, to the airport in 2004, where they boarded a plane to go on a vacation. She’s from Brazil and they were going to visit her family for two weeks.
But she never came back.
On MSNBC.com this week, Goldman said that he thought their marriage was solid and his wife was happy. But when she got to Brazil, his wife called him and said she was not returning to the United States.
And, she said, she was keeping Sean with her.
“I haven’t seen him in four years, and I’ve been desperately fighting and fighting to be with him,” Goldman told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira this week in New York.
The legal system stepped in. According to the laws of Brazil and the U.S. — as well as international law — Sean should have been returned home for a hearing. But Brazilian courts waited a year to respond to the New Jersey court, and then ruled that since so much time had passed, the child should stay with his mother.
In the meantime, Bruna obtained a divorce from David in Brazil and married a Brazilian lawyer. Her second husband comes from a prominent and politically well-connected family in that country.
Adding another almost surreal twist, Bruna — who was going to give birth to a second child with her new husband — died in childbirth last month.
“What I’ve been told is, we’re considered a paper tiger,” Goldman said. “We’ll write letters. We’ll have meetings. But there’s no accountability on Brazil for kidnapping my child.”
“How can it be possible, a non-blood person could take my child?” David asked.
Sean turned eight this summer.
David didn’t even know that Bruna had died, until friends did some research. “Since I am his biological father, and the only other person with a reasonable claim to custody,” David says on his website.
On Sept. 7, David caught a flight to Sao Paulo on with his mother. But Bruna’s Brazilian husband and parents refused to let Sean see his father or paternal grandmother.
The first thing I thought was, “Weren’t there any signs that this mother was lonely or unhappy?”
I can imagine her, a young Brazilian woman who married an American Jew. They lived in New Jersey, she was probably isolated.
But what went wrong? Why did she cut off contact from her husband?
Something is very wrong with this picture. I can only imagine this father’s heartache. It’s challenging for me to be apart from my kid for just 24 hours.
How can something like this happen today, with all of the technology and legal resources we have? The mother’s friends were blogging about her in Brazil after her death — c’mon, there MUST be a way to find this little boy!
How can this be?
On Dec. 27, 2009: David and his son, Sean, were re-united after four+ years! Read the story here.
David Goldman, his son Sean, and his late wife Bruna, www.bringseanhome.org
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