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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
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • Ecuador
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Mexico
  • Poland
  • Venezuela
  • 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.

    Related Posts:

    Fighting for Sean
    Case Type: Hague Case
    Brazilian Federal Court deciding a Hague Case

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    David Goldman’s struggle to re-unite with his 9-year-old son Sean today has been put on hold by a Brazilian Judge. The Brazilian Supreme Court will now have to rule on Sean’s fate. 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.

    David’s wife, Bruna, remarried in Brazil and then died last fall giving birth to a new daughter. Bruna’s new husband was then shockingly awarded custody of Sean by a Brazilian court.

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (CNN) — A Brazilian supreme court judge on Tuesday suspended a lower court’s order that would have given custody of a 9-year-old boy to the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro, where he was to be reunited with his American father.

    Judge Marco Aurelio argued against taking Sean Richard Goldman from what has been his home for almost five years to the United States “in an abrupt manner.”

    Doing so, he wrote in his order published on the supreme court’s Web site, could subject the boy to psychological harm.

    The decision, which means the entire Brazilian supreme court will take up the case, comes a day after a superior court justice ordered Sean taken Wednesday to the U.S. consulate in Rio and handed over to his father, David Goldman, who arrived Tuesday from New Jersey to pick up his son.

    Related Posts:

    Fighting for Sean
    Case Type: Hague Case
    Brazilian Federal Court deciding a Hague Case

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    Brazilian National Human Rights Secretariat head Paulo Vannuchi says the court shouldn’t give absolute custody to either party. He told a Brazilian congressional hearing Wednesday of last week, the boy should stay in Brazil but the U.S. father should have liberal visitation rights according to this report.

    Last month the U.S. Senate called for Brazil to return Sean to his dad in NJ.  They were strong words but backed with little action.

    The U.S. Embassy posted this statement on their website. 

     

    Brazil and the United States have an international agreement about how to handle wrongful retention and wrongful abduction of children from their original countries of residence: The Hague Convention of 1980. Both countries are obliged to make sure that this treaty is enforced.

    The U.S. Embassy notes that a case centering on this question is currently before the 16th Federal Court in Rio and we are respectfully awaiting the decision of that court. Brazil has an independent and professional judiciary. This is not a question that should be decided in the press or the court of public opinion.

    The wrongful removal and wrongful retention of children from their homes, and the forced separation of parent and child is unnecessary and cruel. The United States has facilitated the return of seven children to Brazil since The Hague treaty entered into force between our two countries. We call on the office of the Secretary of Human Rights to support the return of all children wrongfully removed and wrongfully retained.

    American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Offers Statement on Goldman Child Custody Case

    CHICAGO, April 28 /PRNewswire/ — The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), an organization comprised of the nation’s top 1,600 matrimonial attorneys, has released a statement on the Goldman international child custody case and the need for the country of Brazil to return the boy to his father in the United States:

    “Because the rights and best interests of a child must always take precedence, the AAML believes that Brazil should do everything within its power to return Sean Goldman and uphold the previously agreed to tenets of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,” said Gary Nickelson, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “As one of the signatory countries to Hague, the Brazilian government should never look the other way while a parent takes a child and violates valid court orders and the provisions of this international agreement.”

    Related Post:

    Fighting for Sean

    Homologation and Brazilian Child Custody Law

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    Most people by now are familiar with the cases of Sean Goldman and Sean Hillman. David Goldman is fighting Brazilian courts for the return of his son. Carl Hillman is seeking help to have his son returned from Japan after his wife Mayumi Ogawa fled with their son after a bitter custody battle.

    A case you may not be familiar with is the abductions of two Brunswick, Ga. children by their mother. Following allegations of child abuse by her against the father, which were deemed unfounded, she fled to Laredo, Tx. Surprisingly, even though she was on the run, she requested school records for the children from there. You would think that would be the end of her story but authorities chose not to take her into custody after questioning her nor to return the children to their father instead ignoring the outstanding federal arrest warrant charging her with unlawful flight. She is now believed to be in Monterrey, Mexico.

    BRUNSWICK – FBI agents believe a fugitive Brunswick woman who failed to return her two young children to their father after a visit has taken them to into hiding in Mexico.

    Maria De La Luz Lara, 34, faces federal charges of international parental kidnapping and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Glynn County police also have charged Lara with felony interference with child custody, court documents showed.

    Also known as Rosaura Rosed, she fled the country after abducting her 11-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Garcia, and 10-year-old son, Abel Garcia Jr., FBI Special Agent Tony Alig told the Times-Union on Friday.

    Why aren’t they listed at the NCMEC as abducted children? Why did Texas authorities decline to arrest her? Will there be a federal investigation concerning that decision?

    These are some other missing “children” from Brunswick and nearby Savannah:

    Michael Anthony Bennett
    Missing Since: 6/21/89
    Age Now: 33
    Missing from: Brunswick, Ga

    Monica Renita Bennett
    Missing Since: 6/21/89
    Age Now: 35
    Missing from: Brunswick, Ga

    Jamaree Clarence Coleman
    Missing Since: 7/24/93
    Age Now: 15
    Missing from: Brunswick, Ga

    Justin Justo Vidal Garcia
    Missing Since: 1/21/04
    Age Now: 6
    Missing from: Savannah, Ga

    Samantha Michelle Garcia
    Missing Since: 1/21/04
    Age Now: 7
    Missing from:Savannah, Ga

    Related International Parental Abduction Posts:

    Seeking Seattle Sean
    Fighting for Sean
    Case Type: Hague Case

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    Most people are aware of David Goldman’s fight to find his son Sean. According to SEATTLEPI.COM, there is now a fight for another Sean but this time it doesn’t involve the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. It does involve an International Abduction as Carl Hillman’s son was abducted by his ex-wife and taken to Japan.

    After a grinding 18 months, Hillman was divorced and on vacation with son Sean. For two weeks, he relaxed with the 5-year-old, who was excited to start at the John Stanford International School’s Japanese-English immersion program. The biracial boy had friends on both side of the language divide.

    Hillman dropped Sean off that evening at the home of his ex-wife, Mayumi Ogawa, expecting to see him in a few weeks after a trip to his mother’s native Japan.

    Thirty-six weeks have passed since Hillman last saw his son and, despite court orders and felony charges filed this month against Ogawa, he’s unsure if he ever will see him again.

    “All along this was a fear,” said Hillman, a 39-year-old North Seattle resident. “No child has legally or diplomatically returned to the United States from Japan.”

    Ogawa fled the country weeks after a King County Superior Court judge approved an agreed parenting plan stating that Sean would split his time between his parents. Hillman has since been awarded sole control of the child, and King County prosecutors have charged Ogawa with first-degree custodial interference — essentially accusing her of kidnapping her own child.

    Sean isn’t listed at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) even though he is abducted. In the article, Ernie Allen, CEO mentions the case of Arathi Bandi who abducted her daughter and went to India in another joint custody case. Neither she nor the child are listed at the NCMEC. Ironically he describes it as a lesser known case.

    Why aren’t these children listed? There are 33 missing children listed under Case Type: Hague Case and 416 under Case Type: Family Abduction but there is no category for International Abductions.

    Do you remember the case of Allison Quets  ?  Why aren’t authorities pursuing these cases with the same fervor?

    Interesting information from Interpol-Legislation of INTERPOL member states on missing Children

    Update 03-31-09:  Sean’s missing poster has now been added at the NCMEC

    Also listed at the NCMEC are Takoda and Tiana Weed.

    Takoda and Tiana were last seen on January 15, 2004. They may be in the company of their non-custodial mother. They may have traveled to Japan. Takoda may use the alias name Tei Oda. His nickname is Tei Chan. Tiana may use the alias name Kiku Oda. Her nickname is Kiku Chan. Takoda and Tiana are Biracial. They are Asian and White.

    Update 05-22-09: Japan urged to sign accord against parental abductions

    TOKYO (AFP) — The United States and three other western nations Thursday urged Japan to sign an accord against parental child abductions, saying scores of children are being held in the country.

    US, French, British and Canadian diplomats launched the rare joint appeal at a US embassy press conference, listing cases of foreign parents who have been unable to see their children in Japan after a breakup or divorce.

    “We do feel a sense of urgency because the number of cases is increasing very dramatically,” said acting US ambassador to Japan James Zumwalt.

    “I think because we have more and more international marriages, we can expect in the future a further increase in the number of these cases.”

    The United States had received reports of 73 cases of parental abductions involving 104 children in Japan, said Michele Bond, the US State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for overseas citizen services.

    In 29 more cases, all family members were in Japan, but the US parent was denied access to a child after a separation or divorce, she said.

    Related Post:  

    Fighting for Sean

    Case Type: Hague Case

    International parental abductions

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