On CNN’s “Larry King Live” Wednesday, David Goldman responded to Brazilian Judge Marco Aurelio decision to not return his abducted son, Sean, from Brazil with a simple statement.
“They’re sending this message that anyone can take any child from anywhere, come to Brazil and if they can hide enough or stall enough or keep the child here long enough then they’re entitled to that child? That’s unacceptable.”
According to the 2008 Compliance Report for the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, these countries have demonstrated patterns of noncompliance with the Hague Treaty.
Brazil acceded to the Convention on 10-19-1999. It entered into force with U.S. 12-1-2003 but continues to have a pattern of noncompliance due to Judicial Performance.
Brazil continued to demonstrate patterns of noncompliance with the Convention in its judicial performance. The USCA notes several instances during FY 2007 in which Brazilian courts treated Convention cases as custody decisions, rather than applying the principles of wrongful removal or retention laid out in the Convention. In two cases, Brazilian judges refused returns to the United States, citing the “best interests of the child.” These decisions contradict the Convention, as the Preamble of the Convention declares that the interest of children is attained through their return to their country of habitual residence.
In addition, the USCA notes that judges in some cases continued to demonstrate a bias towards mothers and towards Brazilian citizens. Further, the judicial process is excessively lengthy, with cases going on well beyond the six weeks mandated by the Convention. The appeals process adds many months—and sometimes more—to Convention cases. For cases to proceed more quickly, the USCA finds that parents filing the application for return of their child need to hire a private attorney with experience handling Convention cases. The Brazilian Central Authority is attempting to limit the number of judges who have authority to hear Convention cases. Additionally, a number of judges participated in a judicial seminar in December 2006, which was sponsored by the Hague Permanent Bureau and attended by a representative of the USCA.
Update 06-09-09: Help pass House Resolution 125
H.Res.125: Calling on Brazil in accordance with its obligations under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction to obtain, as a matter of extreme urgency, the return of Sean Goldman to his father David Goldman in the United States; urging the governments of all countries that are partners with the United States to the Hague Convention to fulfill their obligations to return abducted children to the United States; and recommending that all other nations, including Japan, that have unresolved international child abduction cases join the Hague Convention and establish procedures to promptly and equitably address the tragedy of international child abductions.
Lawmaker Seeks Brazil Sanctions Over Custody Case
US congressman presses for sanctions vs. Brazil over custody case involving NJ man, son
(AP)A U.S. congressman is pushing to suspend certain trade preferences with Brazil until a boy at the center of a custody dispute there is returned to his father in New Jersey.
New Jersey Republican Chris Smith introduced a bill Thursday that would temporarily remove Brazil from a duty-free trade program. He says Brazil received benefits on $2.75 billion worth of trade last year.
Smith is a champion for David Goldman, whose wife took their son to Brazil in 2004. She died last year, and the boy has been living with his Brazilian stepfather.
Update 06-10-09: Brazil court clears an obstacle to boy’s US return
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a bid by a political party to stop a 9-year-old boy from being taken to the United States to live with his father. But the boy’s return to the U.S. is likely to be delayed by further legal appeals.
In a 10-0 decision, the Supreme Court refused to consider the appeal by a conservative Brazilian party that argued it would be wrong to take Sean Goldman from his stepfather’s custody after five years in the South American country.
The court ruled that a federal court should decide whether the boy will return to the U.S. or remain with his stepfamily in Brazil.