Over four years ago David Goldman’s son, Sean, was abducted by his mother to Brazil. David has been fighting an expansive legal battle in the Brazilian courts to bring his son home.
On the website BringSeanHome.org there is a letter describing his efforts.
I have been fighting in the Brazilian courts under The Hague Treaty for 4+ years. All counts of the law under The Hague Treaty as well as Brazilian, US and international law are clear and documented in court records in Brazil and the US that Sean was and still is being retained illegally and should be returned to the US.
So why haven’t the Brazilian courts complied?
Child Custody Law: Under the Brazilian Civil Code, married parents have equal rights of custody to their minor children. Legal guardianship goes automatically to a mother when the child is born out of wedlock, unless the father files for custody with a family court. While parents share a presumption of equal rights of custody, the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia notes that bias based on gender or nationality does occur. Mothers are often given preference in custody cases involving small children or girls and a Brazilian parent is favored over a foreign parent. Divorce and custody disputes are not uncommon in Brazil. The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, however, feels that compared to other court processes, family court cases are resolved in a relatively short period of time. Parents seeking the recognition of U.S. custody orders can initiate a process called homologation, which consists of registering the U.S. decision in Brazil. The process is very lengthy and ultimately must be upheld by a Brazilian court.
It would appear that after four years, they should have met the criteria for a lengthy homolgation process. Perhaps now the courts and the U.S. Department of State can work on the must part.
Apparently David’s case isn’t an isolated one, “Support grows for mother of 2 missing girls“.