The longstanding custody battle in Brazil over American Sean Goldman that began in June 2004 may be finally coming to an end. The Brazilian Federal Regional Court decided Sean Goldman, now 9, should be returned to his biological father David Goldman in the United States.
David Goldman’s lawyer believes that Sean Goldman could return to the United States on Friday.
All this drama began when the boy’s mother, Brazilian Bruna Bianchi Carneiro Ribeiro, left her husband, David Goldman, for a “vacation” of two weeks with their son Sean (then 4 years-old) and didn’t return.
After Bruna arrived in Brazil she call the husband to tell him that the marriage was over and that she would not return to the United States.
Although still married to David Goldman in the United Sates, Bruna got a divorce in Brazil without the husband’s consent and remarried in Brazil famous lawyer João Paulo Lins e Silva. But Bruna died in childbirth.
At the time of Bruna’s death last year, David Goldman went to Brazil to bring his son back to the United States. But he’s been in a huge fight for custody for his son Sean against his stepfather and maternal grandparents.
As determined by the Brazilian Justice, Sean should be taken to the U.S. consulate in 48 hours, starting Wednesday afternoon. David Goldman is expected tomorrow in Rio to be reunited with his son.
In the meantime, Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) is reviewing a preventive habeas corpus filed by Sean’s grandmother, Silvana Bianchi, who is asking for an injunction to prevent the boy’s departure from Brazil without him being heard directly by the first instance judge.
According to the STF, she wants the court to hear the boy’s testimony so he will be able to say if he really wishes to leave the country with his biological father or would rather stay in Brazil with his Brazilian family, the step-father, maternal grandparents and little sister.
The grandmother contends that the Federal Court in Rio decided to send the boy to the United States without hearing the testimony of the child, “stopping him from expressing his opinion about his compulsory departure from the country, as provided for in Article 13 of the convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction” or the Hague Convention (Decree 3413/2000), Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Children (Decree 99.710/90) and section II of Article 16 of Brazil’s Statute of Children and Adolescents.
If there is no new court maneuvers to change the Rio’s ruling, Sean may return to the United States as early as Friday.
This Wednesday night Minister Marco Aurélio Mello, from Brazil’s Supreme Court, informed that he will decide within 48 hours if Sean Goldman stays or not in Brazil.
Let’s all hope that Sean can return to his father David Goldman!
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