American Morning

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June 16th, 2009
10:18 AM ET

Father fights for son’s return on 5th anniversary

The case has made international headlines – a father's desperate quest to get his son back. It's been exactly five years since David Goldman's wife, Bruna Bianchi Carneiro Ribeiro, took their then 4-year-old son to Brazil and never came back.

Since then, he's been fighting to be reunited with his little boy, Sean. And just when he thought it was over, another setback. Goldman joined Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday to talk about the case.

Kiran Chetry: Today you're marking an unwelcome anniversary. It's been five years since you had your son Sean with you. It looked like things were turning in your favor. The high court ruled they were going to honor the Hague Convention on International Abductions. Most of those in the court said your son should come back to you. So what's the delay right now?

David Goldman: Well, what was filed in front of the [Brazilian] Supreme Court was, in fact, if the Brazilian judicial system was going to honor the Hague Convention. If their government was still going to be a party to the Hague Convention where they receive children back under the Hague from America, as well. And they decided yes, we are going to honor the Hague Convention, we will return children. This particular case, a couple of them pointed out that Sean has been here way too long and this needs to be resolved.

And then they punted it back to the second level federal court where there was a stay because of an appeal from this Lins e Silva guy to keep my son there. Hopefully with the [Brazilian] Supreme Court ruling, with the 82-page report from the first-level federal judge ordering my son to be returned home immediately as well as Brazilian court-appointed mental health experts evaluating my son, saying he's been under psychological trauma, emotionally damaged from this family in Brazil, pointing he needs to be home.

Chetry: They also even called it parental alienation, saying his stepfather – that's who he's staying with right now, correct?

Goldman: He actually lives with Bruna's parents.

Chetry: And that's an odd situation in itself. Just take us back to what happened. You were married, you were happily married, at least you thought. Your wife goes away for a couple of weeks.

Goldman: I drove her to the airport with my son and her parents for a vacation. Love, hugs and kisses with my blessings to have a safe trip. And I was going to go down and visit with them at the end of the trip and fly back to help with Sean, bringing him home.

Chetry: And what happened?

Goldman: I get a phone call; it was actually on Father's Day, two days after they arrived. “David, we have to talk. You're a wonderful guy, you're the best father I could ever imagine for my child, but if you ever want to see him again, you need to come to Brazil, meet with my attorney, sign ten pages of legal papers giving me full custody never pressing criminal charges,” a bunch of other demands. Another one was filing to the courts here that we will be separated.

Chetry: And you had no inkling there was any trouble in the marriage?

Goldman: I had no clue. I had no clue.

Chetry: Do you know what happened?

Goldman: She said she decided she is Brazilian and wants to stay in Brazil where she is known.

Chetry: And subsequently, sadly, she passed away in childbirth. And since then, your son, Sean has been living with her new husband?

Goldman: Yes…well, we were still married in America. America doesn't recognize this marriage to this guy. She married him in Brazil for ten months before she passed away. And now, this man is trying to say that he's got more claim of custody over my own child. He's got no blood relation to my son. And yet, in the court in Brazil, the state court, he filed some motion trying to remove my name from my son's birth certificate, to totally erase me and my parents and my son’s whole paternal lineage from his life and replace it with his own.

Chetry: I know that you've been to Brazil. Your congressman actually accompanied you there in helping with this effort. And it's been a very difficult situation because you've been away from your own son for so long now. How does he react to you? And what are your concerns that even if you do get him back, what the psychological damage of this whole tug-of-war will be on him?

Goldman: My concerns are what is being done to him right now. And those are things I can't control. And again, as evidenced from the evaluations…he's being psychologically and emotionally damaged by them. And where he is now is not a healthy environment. They have to look at the boy, they have to look at the child, not their own selfish or whatever reasons. But he is a child, he's a human, and he's my son. I'm not worried about when we're home. I know I will take care of him as I always had before he was abducted. Remember, he lived over four years with me and he was fine.

And he would call when I was able to speak with him, crying to come home to his father. Crying he wants to come home and see his friends and his grandma and grandpa. They tried to erase all that themselves in front of the media like he never had a life here, which he did, which he still does, waiting. It's not about the five years we missed. He's only 9. He's got his whole life ahead and there is bonding and healing. And the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children actually has a program for parents reunited with their abducted children to help them reconnect and re-bond.

Chetry: We wish you the best of luck in this situation. I know it's been a tough road for you. And the courts still have to rule, but hopefully within weeks you may be reunited.

Goldman: Thank you. I hope so.

Filed under: American Morning
soundoff (386 Responses)
  1. Father to two

    No sooner had I thanked Tanya and troubled for illustrating my point for me than out pop sara, my two cents, and Luiz to illustrate it all over again.

    The gist: Never mind the prima facie case. The basic facts points to a woman who considered the child her property, who was willing to shut the child's father out of his life and committed the crime of abduction in order to do so. No, that is not an acceptable conclusion for these folks. The father has to be to blame, the mother the victim, not matter how thin or fabricated the evidence.

    This is, again, precisely the attitude fathers face. It only takes the suggestion of abuse or money-grubbing - enter people like Luiz - to taint him and his case simply because he is male. As long as you can use fabricated allegations to separate him from the children for at least a few months, you then come back and claim they're now established in a new routine and it would be traumatic to reunite. If he shows anger (a normal reaction to an abnormal situation), it's evidence he's controlling has a violent temper. If he pursues parenting time and custody, it's evidence he's vindictive and/or just doesn't want to pay child support. If he backs off, it's evidence he never really cared in the first place.

    There are simply too many people who are too willing to accept any version of events that confirm the male-female perpetrator-victim stereotype, never mind the facts of the case. And you cannot win against gender stereotypes as long as there are people like Tanya, troubled, sara, my two cents, and Luiz to perpetuate them.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  2. Gia

    Well, maybe the mother had a reason to run from this man.

    No woman just takes off from a good marriage. So don't judge, people, as you do not have all the facts.

    It's too late now, the boy should stay where he is. Do not uproot his whole life for your ego. He is happy in Brazil, leave him there.

    Sometimes you need to stop and ask yourself what would be better for the child, not you!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  3. Edward

    The story is very sad but also a lot more complicated. The wife and son left with the Ddvids's permission. It was not a kidnap. The fact that David 'had no clue' the wedding wasn't going well is very strange. Everybody knows when the relationship is going sour. Anyway, she files for divorce and gets custody of Sean (most mother's get it anyway). Maybe it should have happened in US court, but it was going to be a tough resolution for the child no matter what, because the parents would be 8,000 miles apart regardless of who got custody. Then the unthinkable happens – the mother dies during childbirth, 2 years after she moved back to Brazil. Sean is adapted in school, attached to his grandparents, family, friends and a little sister. According to the Brazilian press, Sean does not want to come to the US. People don't like change and much less kids. The Brazilian government should and will not get involved. Judicial systems should not be influenced by government politics. We don't want it to happen here and it shouldn't happen elsewhere.

    I also agree that Sean should be with his Dad, but how to do this without traumatizing the kid, I simply don't know. Perhaps David should move to Brazil for 6 months or 1 year and try to make this a smooth transition.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  4. GenPo

    As heart breaking as this whole situation is it is further proof that 'God' is absent in the world. Common sense dictates that David is Sean's father and he is entitled to know and love his son, to be sure that he is safe and well cared for.
    Our world's 'God' is Law and Money, those two things dictate how a person lives their life in this world; even if they are a good person the scumbag with the lawyers and fat wallet are the ones living indiscriminately.
    I wish you the best of luck and all the strength you will need, David. Sean will come home, with strength and determination he will come home.
    Free Goldman!!!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  5. Kay

    Don't give up! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God sees the injustice these people have caused you and he will intervene. Have faith. The fact that you have spent all of these years fighting is proof that you love your son and deserve to have him back. If only other fathers took on the same take with their children, this world would be a better place.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  6. Swathi P

    David, there is nothing else that can go wrong.. you have to and will get back your Sean...! all the very very very best to you David.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  7. Filma

    We are praying for you and your family, Mr. Goldman, that you will get back your beloved son pretty soon. This is injustice to you as a good father and to your son who is missing your fatherly presence and guidance. God bless you.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  8. Crow

    This is an atrocity! Sean should be returned to his biological father, as the courts and the Hague convention dictate. Had the step-father been cooperative and returned Sean, likely he could have still been a part of Sean's life (and as it is, likely he will need to be since Sean now has a sibling...though if I were Mr. Goldman, I wouldn't bring Sean back to Brazil).

    My family had planned to vacation in Brazil this summer and based on this case, and hearing that other children are held there, we will not spend our money in Brazil until Sean is returned. We have also ceased buying Brazillian products. We encourage the world community to do the same until Sean's immediate and safe return to his father, Mr. Goldman.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  9. Linda H

    Good luck David!!! Our prayers are with you and let this be a lesson to everyone out there...don't marry anybody from Brazil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  10. kms

    i can't believe his son has been kidnapped and Brazil authorities will not send him home to his dad where he belongs. it's so sad that neither government can do anything. this is so unjust.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  11. Victoria

    I agree Tyler, she is the one that is SELFISH for saying such a thing! I pray that he gets is son back!! I mean....ITS HIS SON!!!!! Bring this child back home to his father!!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  12. SuzyQ

    We all need to demand that President Obama, VP Biden and the White House ratchet up their involvement in this case!! This is truly appalling! Time for our Prez to pick up the phone talk to President Lula and demand Sean's return. If Brazil wants to be our ally, then they need to start acting like one!

    Support NJ Congressman's Chris Smith's new bill on sanctions on Brazil -HR 2702 – Call you congress-person today and tell them to support HR 2702

    June 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  13. AJ

    David – I have a 4 year old son and I have absolutely no idea how you have kept going all this time. If my son was taken from me the way Sean was taken from you, I think I would have been commited to a mental institution so long ago. Just thinking about it make me crazy. I hope you get your son back. I hope you are able to sue this horible Brazilian Family for damages later on. I hope you are able to sue the Brazilian govenment for their failure to comply with the treaties that they have signed.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  14. Denise

    Sara – can you read or would you prefer not educating yourself on the facts of the case? I would have taken that money as well, and used it toward my legal fees. There was never any abuse. How wonderful is it for people to say that, and everyone just assumes it's true. Where is the proof? Judge Pinto ruled on the facts of the case, and broken a million holes in what has become a certified case of kidnapping.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  15. lsheehan

    Tanya Evans is a plant. It is obvious. The grandparents and the stepfamily have been putting these fake messages everywhere. While I disagree with everything Tanya Evans said, I am going to do the one thing she doesn't want me to do: IGNORE HER.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  16. Susan

    Ms. Evans,
    I am going to have to assume you are like my husband's ex-wife who dangled his child over his head with visitation. He was a good father when she needed a free babysitter, but when they had a disagreement, then would withhold visitation from him. These custodial parents-no single, especially when there is another biological parent who wants to be active in the childs life-continue to abuse their custodial rights. I see this everyday, especially when the custodial parent is a female. The are angry and resentful to the non-custodial parent and play with the emotions all the time. When we were establishing legal visitation, my stepson said, "I want to see my daddy and I don't understand why my mommy won't let me". Through all of our litigations she did not want to share Christmas. In the end, the court read through her B.S. and gave us exactly what we requested.
    Mr. Goldman, I know in my heart God will reunite you and your son. It has been a long battle for you, but keep pressing for the reward that you and your son both want-to be together.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  17. PC

    Good luck David! we are all with you! and Tanya your heartless, karma will come back around to bite you in the ass!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  18. Teresa


    all of that media trash you are talking about is coming from the brazilian media...hello??? Influential family...yada yada yada.

    Sean is the biological child of David Goldman....unless there is some proof that he was mean or neglectful to the child, give him back to him!!!

    There should be some kind of sanctions put upon Brazil by our good old president Obama and the UN until the child is returned, simple as that. People write your congressmen!!


    June 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  19. Michele

    I am also outraged that the man's child has not yet been returned home. To me, it is such an obvious mistake on the part of the Brazilian government. No amount of red tape or "important people" should delay for one instant the safe return of this boy to his father. For what it's worth, I have written a letter to the Brazilian Embassy.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  20. Luciano

    I am a Brazilian citizen living in the USA, and I am ashame by the rule of law in my country that is keeping Sean away from his dad. being a father myself I would move mountains if something of that natured would've happen to me. I use to watch movies that depict countries where one parent would take their children and the other parent would have to through hell to try to bring their kids back home, I would always assume that these countries would be somewhere in the middle east or a country with no regards to it's citizens or international laws. It's sad to see that these movies could have taken place in Brazil.

    I am perplexed as why they still debating if a son should go back to his biological father or stay with a strange that is not related to him. That is called kidnap and should be punish with the full extend of the law.

    And a boycott of Brazilian products would be a good idea, maybe they will wake up and realize what wrong they have been doing with this parent and his son.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  21. Mike

    Tanya Evans,

    I can't believe what I just read in your posting. What an outrageous and perverted opinion. You should be ashamed.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  22. Denise

    My Two Cents – There was no abuse – only a lack of fortune. Her family wanted her back in Brazil, and they had the money to offer her a worry-free life. Nevermind she took her son away from his father.

    What a message Brazil is sending – you can take your kids to Brazil, and we will help you keep them there if you have enough money and the right connections.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  23. mister T

    time to check the back of soldier of fortune and just get it done!!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  24. Maggie

    I have also been following this story for many months now. DON'T EVER GIVE UP DAVID!!!!!!

    AND AS FAR AS MS. EVANS........

    June 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  25. Renee Lucas

    Sara, what I posted above to Luiz, well, the same applies to you.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  26. Roxanne W.

    Precious time is slipping away from David and Sean. Please call your state representative, the white house, Secretary of State and let's show our Government they cannot delay further pressure/action for Sean's return. Sean needs his loving father!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  27. Renee Lucas

    Luiz, all those accusations from the family were proven false. Repeating lies many times doesn't make them come true.

    If you read Judge Pinto's sentence on the case, you will see he addresses EVERY SINGLE LIE the family spewed...

    June 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  28. Inga

    David, I've been following your story since it first appeared in the media (Dateline, I believe?) and you have my full support. You sound like a great dad and you deserve to have your son back. Don't give up! It's unbelievable what the Brazilian side has done...
    I hope that soon we'll all hear the news that Sean and youself have been reunited.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  29. Fathers Rights

    Isn't it crazy? No matter where the legal system, it is always a roadblock. I wish the best for this Dad, and his son. Unfortunately, we don't need to stray to Brazil for this type of behavior. It is all around us in the United States. Dads get put in the back seat. Divorce is rampant, and Fathers have to fight for their God given right to raise their children. Parents need to unite in raising their children, even through divorce. EVERYONE may not like your ex, but they are still a parent. Your child needs equal time with both parents. EQUALITY CREATES STABILITY. Stability is not created by how many nights a child sleeps in the same bed. Equal family input is what gives our children the balance they need from inside their family bubble.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  30. Lully


    Oh, stop with the fake patriotism. You are obviously Brazilian and all you're doing here is making our country look worse. Its no news Brazil is a corrupt land where money buys Justice and the law is of no value. This is just one more example of a carioca whore who went to Europe and declared herself a "model" when we all know she was probably just one more Brazilian prostitute who met an American citizen and saw in him the chance to a green card. When she saw herself living a simple life in a suburb of New Jersey, she decided living in Brazil with her rich lover was a better deal. Let's not be naïve here sweetie. I am Brazilian, I am proud of my heritage but I am not blind to the problems of my country and to the type of women who usually come to Europe to be prostitutes or to the USA for a green card and an easy life with a Gringo. Get real. These people are criminals and they need to give this child back to his father.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  31. Steve

    Tanya Evans, you should not be allowed to bear offspring. You are disgusting.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  32. Janes Acer

    I wonder, would it have taken this long IF David were the MOTHER and not the Father, I don't think so.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  33. LessWordsMoAction

    send in the Marines

    June 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  34. Mark Johnson


    This just breaks my heart. You will get your son back. Never ever give up. I wish the best for you and Sean.


    Mark Johnson

    June 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  35. GF, Los Angeles

    @ Tanya Evans I have no idea where your anger is coming from against this father. He is the biological father and has every right to get his son back. The Brazilian courts shouldn't be involved. The child is a US citizen and our court system should demand his return IMMEDIATELY. The child is considered a hostage in my view.

    I wonder if you would be so willing to walk away from your child if he/she was abducted by your spouse and taken to another country.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  36. tyler

    tanya evans is brazilian, folks.

    no american would say such a thing.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  37. Maria

    I am a Brazilian, married to an American. I strongly support David and hope his son will be back to America with him. I read an article that his son goes to a private school and bla, bla, bla. In Brazil the majority of student goes to private school. There are not such a thing that only rich kids go to private school in Brazil. One has to pay to get some education there. The public school are only for the very, very poor. It is not like in US and Canada, etc. that have great public schools. They can say he lives in a big house. BS... most houses or apartments in Brazil are big. The grandparents in Brazil and this Lins e Silva person are bad people. Sean needs to be with David.
    and remember. There are good people in Brazil and Brazil is a great Country.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  38. Luiz

    We should not ignore the reports from the late mother that she was the only one working and paying all the bills and that the father wasn't helping her.
    Also there are reports that he forged her signature on checks she left behind in order access funds from her account.
    Lastly he also tried to extort $500,000 from the grandparents of the child in order not to sue them, this was eventually settled at $150,000.
    This information was reported on the Brazilian media, which by the shows a view supportive of the return of his son to the US not because he should be with the father but because an American court should rule on the fate of the child per the Hague convention.

    This leaves the question, is it money, media attention or his child that he really wants?

    June 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  39. mommouse

    I have followed your story since seeing it on 60 Minutes. I pray that you'll get your son back sooner than later. God bless you and God bless your son.................The time is coming closer that your son will soon be with you on American soil.........We all will keep you both in our prayers.
    I commend you on your perserverance and for that...........there will be a happy ending.

    Mommouse, MD

    June 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  40. my two cents

    I think there is far more to this story than what David is telling to the public. Why on earth if they had such a peachy marriage, as he portrays, would his ex wife just up and do this out of the blue? He himself says that she was only there 2 days before she called and told him this, that's not enough time for someone to have such a drastic turnaround. Unfortunately she's not alive to defend herself or respond to her ex's claims. If I recall correctly I saw David on Dr Phil and at that time I believe his ex had said before her passing that there had been abuse in the marriage.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  41. tyler

    The stepdad is a very wealthy lawyer with connections. No matter how far he takes this, and how many Brazilian judges he pays off, the law is the law. It's International law, and Brazil has broken it over and over.

    I've read comments on the Brazilian online papers, and there are actually a minority of folks down there that believe Sean should go back to his father David.

    Sean Goldman will come back to the US. You'll see. 🙂

    June 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  42. sara

    Leave him alone!!! Sean is happy in Brazil!! There is documentation from her family of domestic abuse from David & that is why she left with Sean. They also have letters that she sent to David about him coming down to visit Sean & he never did. All he wanted was money. They paid him $150,000 to stay out of Sean's life. That is what he wanted $150,000, they have the letter & the cancelled check. He is not the goody, goody guy that he is making himself out to be. When he found out his ex-wife was dead that is only when he decided to go get Sean. He thought it would be easy, well it is not. He has a loving sept-father who has adopted him. He has a half sister. Sean has told the court over & over & over again HE DOES NOT want to go to the US with this man!!! He wants to stay in Brazil!!! He has gotten Clinton & big named people involved who needs to keep there 2 cents out of it. Leave Sean alone!!! You haven't wanted him from the beginning until it looked like it was an easy way to get your hands on a gold mind. He is happy where he is...leave him there!!!!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  43. Brenda Russell

    I am so sorry to hear this struggle continues. It is nonsense. I have heard the argument of this child being uprooted and returned to his father would cause emotional strain to the child. Please don't take this as if I have no feelings for a childs feelings, but we hear so often that when children go thru emotional times "...they are tough and will recover". I have children and many grandchildren and can attest to the truth of that comment. Does anyone ever consider the strain of the adult, the parent, the grandparent? When will they recover if this union never occurs?

    June 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  44. scott

    I think this is a horrible crime that has occured. This is a case of kidnapping pure and simple. The fact that the child has been there for so many years has nothing to do with the facts of the case. The woman that was his biological mother made her first mistake in not returning the child to the US. That is the CRIME that was done. The fact that he has a "life" in Brazil has no import to what has occured. This is pure and simple an example of the "machista" attitued that many South American courts exhibit. The fact of the matter is the child has a father, that loves him, and had his son STOLEN from him by the biological mother. If the father was a deadbeat, or had a criminal record, that would change it all, but from all appearances this is a man that has tried to follow all the right ways of getting his son back, but due to the lack of professionalism in some other countries, he has yet to have that occur. I will not indict all courts, but it seems that in the case of this child, the Brazilian justice system is not concerned with justice, but in some sort of perverted chess game with this young child as the victim.once again.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  45. Matt

    The Congressman helping him out is Chris Smith, from a neighboring district, NOT David Goldman's district. He actually only found out about this story like most of us – watching it on Dateline. He brought it to the attention of Congress immediately and flew down to Brazil with him to help him see his son.

    I don't know what if anything his own Congressman did to help him. I live several towns away from David Goldman in NJ and never heard of the story until the Dateline episode.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  46. Carys

    I too have followed David Goldman's story for the last few years and he seemed to be a very nice person (typically I am a skeptic). I think he would have been very sad to have his son live in Brazil with his mother and to see him rarley, but he strikes me as the type of man that would have eventually worked something out with the mother.

    Tanya Evans,you are a scary person. You obviously have some personal (rage) issues that are affecting your judgement and sanity. Please do not get behind the wheel of any motorized vehicle. I would not even trust you with a handheld electric mixer! There is a band out there called CrazyTown - you should apply to be its village idiot.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  47. ek8650

    First of all, I agree the boy should be returned to his father. Just a question, if the situation is reversed: an american wife brought her son back to US and died. Does everybody agree the body should return to brazil with his father just like the cuban kids 10 years ago. I remember there was a national wide agruement if that cuban kid should stay in US or not. Myself is asian. What I can see most of american have right logic they have trouble, but never have good judgement when the things turn to the otheride.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  48. Barb

    Tanya Evans: It is disgusting that you actually approve of what is going on here...Are you a mother? It seems to me that you are NOT. Would it be ok if your husband (assuming that you have one) left the country with your child to never return?

    These people are keeping an abducted child...and that country is allowing it! What kind of society thinks that is all alright to keep a child from his father...when in fact that father had absolutely no say in what was happening. That baby was stolen from him as far as I am concerned. You don't just take a child out of the country with the intent of not returning (I am sure the mother knew what she was doing) and completely alienating the father...This is not right...this child must return home. Its awful that the child was so young and unfortunately probably has no idea what is going on. God Bless.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  49. Danny Selik


    WASHINGTON D.C. (202) 238-2805 (Economic and Financial Affairs)

    There are counselar offices throughout the US (LA, Chicago, NY, Houston, etc). Check your hometown. Flood the phones and emails. Go to the Brazilian Emabassy website and check contact numbers and email addresses. CALL – EMAIL – FIGHT!!! LET THEM KNOW WE EXIST. THERE ARE TOO MANY CHILDREN STOLEN AT THE HANDS OF BRAZILIANS.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  50. Jen

    He needs to plan a covert operation and steal him back.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  51. Debbie

    David keep on fighting he is your son. We are all here praying he will come home soon.

    Tanya Evans you are an idiot. Where are you from?

    June 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  52. Erik

    @ Tanya Evans – get a life you heartless wench. You act like Sean just jumped on that plane to Brazil at the age of four to get away from his abusive father. If David had a history of abuse, I'd imagine his late wife wasnt his first victim. With all of the publicity, why havent other women come forward with claims against him? Seriously, you have no clue. Did you ever consider that if he was a bad person that he would have given up by now? The boy was fine before he left, now he is a mess – keeping him in Brazil sounds like a great idea. You are an idiot.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  53. Denise

    Aneta, everything David has gone through and all the facts of the case are on the BSH website. Please take a look.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  54. Sondra

    Tanya Evans, you can't possibly be a parent making a statement like that. I wish you never have your child taken from you and your rights as the parents stripped. Time does not diminish his rights as a parent. He deserves to get his son back, period. Children are resilient and the child will adjust once he is returned to his father. This is story is utterly rediculous and I am saddened that it is currently happening.

    Wish you the best of luck David.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  55. dawn

    I have to agree with Tigger-99. Tanya Evans needs to get a clue. They have 82pages of paper work that says the child needs to be with his father. What more do you need? I to think EVERYONE should write to the Brazilian courts & boycot all products made or imported from there.
    Best of luck to you Mr Goldman

    June 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  56. dhir

    good riddance she died. she was manipulative and played with the emotions of he family.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  57. Jessie Anderson

    This story brings back memories of my OWN childhood.

    I was born in the US from a Brazilian father and an American mother. I used to hold dual-citizenship up until when I joined the Army. I am 24 now but when I was 2 my dad took me to Brazil on a "vacation" and I didn't set food in the US until I turned 18 and was able to leave Brazil without my father's consent.

    My mother never tried to get me back legally because she couldn't afford to and also because she never cared much... But my dad made no efforts whatsoever to get me to connect with my family in Boston nor did he ever teach me English. I had to learn on my own. He always talked trash about my family up here and how cold Americans are. Pfftt.

    Typical Brazilian, unfortunately.

    This child needs to be returned to his father. Brazilians are too damn close-minded to put their child's needs before their own. Sean belongs with his dad in Jersey. End of story.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  58. Albert

    It's apparent that the courts are useless in this matter. The child will be an adult before they ever grand the biological father custody. Mr. Goldman may do well to just abduct the kid back to the United States. To hell with the courts.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  59. Veronica Richardson

    Keep fighting...ask Obama through the media to get involved. This should be a priority for him.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  60. Violet

    David, I have been praying so much and following your story with all my heart. I am extremely hopeful that you will be celebrating the best Father's Day ever this year, maybe on a slightly different calendar date. Stay strong. If I ever ran into you it'd be hard to keep myself from running up and giving you the biggest bear hug of support...

    June 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  61. LEONA

    To Tanya Evans:

    You are obviously a man hater. And would tramatize a child just for your own benefit based on your comments. It is a 50/50 deal. He did nothing wrong to deserve this situation. This child would not have been away from his father so long if when his mother passed on they returned him to his father to begin with (immediately).

    June 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  62. Jennifer, NYC

    David: I am praying you will soon be reunited with your son...remember, he is young and so if you obtain custody soon, the emotional damage can be reversed. Hang in there...the angels are with you.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  63. Bekah

    Mr. Goldman deserves his son back. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Anyone who thinks this is wrong, how would you feel if you lost your own flesh and blood and couldn't get your own child back? You have to put yourself in David's's only right for the child to be with his Dad – the father that God designed specifically for him! Prayers are with you David. I hope you get your son back's the right thing by far!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  64. shom

    boycott brazil!

    June 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  65. Veronica

    Where is the A-Team when you need them?
    The child was ABDUCTED, that was a crime, his mother a criminal. The step-father (even IF they were legally married, which remains to be seen) is an accessory to the crime. He has NO CLAIM to this child. The Grandparents are also accessories to the the CRIME of International Kidnapping, as long as they with hold him. Keeping the child in Brazil, just because he "has grown up in Brazil" is crazy. He is not in Brazil, legally. The Brazilian "justice" system is really messed up and I hope that Mr. Goldman will get his son back soon. Why isn't the American Ambassador to Brazil putting pressure on them to return this child to his father?

    June 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  66. sherry

    dave, you have fought so long, so don't give up. i know in the end you will get your son back.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  67. Texas Pioneer

    Years ago, there was a case, where the birth mother had changed her mind with in a couple of weeks of the birth, and wanted her child back.
    If he had given good and true advise to the adoptive parents he would have said that you will eventually loose this case and the child will go back to the parents. It was a pretty famous case and the eventual transfer of the child was on television.
    About three years later the adoptive parents lost and they were told to give the kid back.
    The kid was screaming and crying during the transfer and it was awful. All this was really caused by the bad advise of the SLIMMY LAWYER.
    Both of the parents wanted the child and it took the slimmy lawyers and the 'MOTIONS, AND COURT ORDERS, AND PTO'S, AND OBJECTION" Judges, three years to decide this case.
    The media was swirling around this case and the slant was how evil the parents were that wanted there daughter back.
    There is a common thread through these two cases and it is SLIMMY LAWYERS.
    The people that spent three years fighting for an adoption that had not been final got bad advise from a SLIMMY LAWYER.
    The guy that wants his kid back from a well connected SLIMMY LAWYER in Brazil.
    Good Luck
    Our Secretary of State made some inquiries with the Brazil government and got NOWHERE. She is also a SLIMMY LAWYER.
    This is going to be one real damaged kid at the end of this mess.
    One thing for sure is that the kid will be damaged if he stays or if he comes back to America.

    Common thread SLIMMY LAWYERS

    June 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  68. Fred

    For whatever reason, Brazilian judges seem to have a prejudice towards the American parents of illegally held children. In this case the Brazilian government would rather that the child live with his step father than his real father. The mother is out of the equation as she died a few years ago.

    Anyone remember that crap that wend down with Eilien Gonzalas several years back? His mother died trying to bring him to America, where local relatives tried to retain custody of him. He was returned to his biological father in Cuba. Come on, Brazil, follow the proper path and return the boy to his rightful father.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  69. Father to two

    Tanya Evans and troubled illustrate perfectly, though unintentionally, the knee-jerk reaction many men face when they have to fight for time with their own children: He must be abusive. He must be selfish. There must be something wrong with him.

    That reaction is precisely one of the major obstacles fathers face in custody battles and battles over parenting time. Somehow, it comes naturally to too many people to assume the father is the problem, as though he were required to prove otherwise.

    It is somehow socially acceptable to jump to the conclusion that a father is abusive, controlling - substitute your own gender stereotype here - whereas it would be socially unacceptable to suggest that look at what a mother actually did, as in this case, and conclude that she is simply self-centered, possessive, or vindictive. For too many folks, like Tanya and bothered here, there just has to be another explanation, one that turns blame back on the father.

    Thank you, Tanya Evans and troubled, for illustrating that point for me.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  70. Number1Force

    I am with Mr. Goldman, let him have his son back. As for some one of the comments, I was quite upset. There are certain people that have not understood thier education while growing up in their childhood. If you cant read, stop using your parents computer for grown-up conversations and go back to school to learn the English language and pray to God that you have the ability to get a job at McDonalds. If you could comprehend what was said (which is seems that you can't) I will break it down Barney style. The Brazilian judicial system was going to honor the Hague Convention, which in easier understanding statements means "He would get his son back". Now as for his son being "happy" with his life in Brazil, again, you need to learn English again because it was stated that he would call Mr. Goldman and cry on the phone with him and say that he wanted to come home to HIM!! Now, with that being said, my belief is that he is NOT enjoying his "new" life and family in Brazil. I will end with this, I am not a person that "Blogs" and this is my first time, but when someone as cold and heartless, let alone cant read and comprehend the English language like Tanya Evans, they need to re-educate themselves and stay in their own lane. Go to the store Tanya, buy a straw, and SUCK IT UP. Let the man have his son, who is living a life he is not enjoying at all, come home to his father!

    June 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  71. Kim

    To Tanya Evans: I just want to say that you obviously do not have any children and if you do, I can't see you being a good mother. I think any good parent who had their child taken from them would fight to get them back for as long as it took, no matter how long it had been since the child was taken. I don't believe that to be selfish at all.

    This is not a typical custody hearing where parents often forget to put the children first. This is about a boy who was basically abducted from his father and his paternal grandparents. Imagine if you had a child who was taken out of your house and living with someone and being raised by someone who you had no relation too. Are you telling me that just because 5 years had gone by, you would stop fighting to get them back? That would not only make you a bad parent, but a sick person as well.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  72. CJ Gaud

    Re Tanya Evans' comment

    Tanya, are you for real, or did you take too much acid in your younger years. You are right out to lunch lady !!!
    This is and ABDUCTION !! The kid never wanted to move to Brazil and he certainly did not "make a life for himself" I am sure he did not enroll "himself" int school or took a job, and "established" himself.
    Man are you ever stupid !!!!
    Get a grip,...better yet,...let's see how you will react once one of your children is ripped away by some guy (supose he is from) Iran or North Korea,...let's see how you would feel after 5 years of trying to get your kid back

    C Gaud (Canada)

    June 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  73. EJ Marine

    Tanya Evans,

    You are certifiably insane. What makes you think her reasons for leaving were valid? You have no idea, none of us do. There's too many unknowns here to make assumptions so we have to start with the basics. Unless you're a familiy member or a friend of the family, 95% of what you said is speculation and it makes you sound completely uneducated (stupid). Not that it make a difference anyway. Regardless of feelings or the anger she may have been feeling in this sitiuation, she can't just grab the child and bounce. That's why we have this crazy, new thing here in America. It's called the court system. They follow these weird things called laws and if this would've been done the proper way, legal separation followed by a custody hearing and so on then the child would've been much better off.

    Thank you for your intelligent comments Tanya, they make complete sense. (sarcasm)

    Mr. Goldman, my best wishes to you Sir. If your current approach doesn't find success, there are other ways to go about it.

    An eye for an eye.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  74. Aneta

    I guess we really don't have both sides of the story. What I am interested in is this, he mentions all of these agreements his wife made him sign, all these demands and ultimatums that she made. Ok, so he did sign them though? I mean he signed away his parental rights to her? Where was this desire to be with his son then? Did he get an attorney right away and say no, I am not signing this agreement to give you custody? It does not look like it. If anyone has a link to more info I would be interested to see how this played out at the beginning of this mess.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  75. Caring Dad

    The Tanya Evans comment proves to everyone that there are many idiots in this world and she is one of them. I hope that this happens to her in the near future so she can feel the pain of losing a child.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  76. Ann

    bella .. Brasilian men are capable of devious behavior as well, however, I concur with your thoughts. Here's a story of a devious man ....

    11 yrs ago my former husband and I planned to move back to his native Brasil with our daughter. I was told by the wife of one of his friends and another one of his friends that he planned to get us to Brasil where he could then put our daughter in school (high tuition schoo), set up household and life, then divorce me, keep the child (because he would have the means and I, not working, did not) in his custody and throw me out. He knew he could accomplish this because of his connections and position. I knew if it was true, he COULD do it because when we lived there previously, he was able to accomplish paperwork that normally took 6 to 12 months for others in 2 weeks ... like magic! I didn't believe the intent, though. Then before we left he made a proposal that I would have everything I need in Brasil (house/penthouse, maids, nannies, country club, driver, women's club, etc) but that he would have his "own life" aside from ours and I was not to question. "This is purely a business arrangement." I realized his friends were right and called attorneys who then put me in touch with this attorney in DC specializing in Brasil/US family law. When I asked about the legalities in this situation, she acknowledged it would be prudent not to go to Brasil if I wanted to keep my daughter because if he was well-connected and divorced me, I could probably return home without my child and possibly not see her again afterward with someone else raising her. I then made up my mind, but then she asked my name ... when I gave it to her, she said, "Meu Dios, I owe my law career to your father in law. What wonderful man. What wonderful family. Forget what I said, I KNOW they would never do that." I then told her we have a "conflict of interest," she agreed and I hung up knowing I could never go to Brasil under those circumstances. I have my daughter. It's been a financial and emotional struggle, but she grew up in a loving and full environment. I thank God that I did not have to go through the type of heartache and suffering that David has and I pray for him and his family every day.

    P.S. Tanya Evans you obviously are uneducated, without research, coursework or logic in the areas of law, sociology, psychology and human development.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  77. Adam

    This is another example of the mistreatment of biological fathers throughout America. Its time we are recognized as equals....More than just a donor to a hopeful mothers cause and child support thereafter.....Its a real injustice as our children need both parents in the lives equally.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  78. Luiz


    This boy is in a golden cage. Yes, it is golden but it is still a cage. When he grows he will inevitably try to understand why he was kept away from his father. When he does that, it will probably be too late and there will be no way to recover the time lost between father and son.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm |

    Unfrigging-believable. David, dont give up, and i know you wont.

    This crap doesnt just happen in third-world hell-holes like Brazil. it happens in the good-ol U-S of A too. It is high time for GOOD fathers to get EQUAL rights in this country.

    Throw all the BAD fathers in prison. Screw the child-support money. Throw them in prison. Be done with it.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  80. James J

    Ms. Evans,
    You are ridiculous. What about his mother taking his son, who he was caring for, without his consent or a legal proceeding? What will Sean think when he is old enough to realize he was basically kidnapped from his father and not allowed to be seen by him? What about all the lost time Sean has lost with his father? All the memories and bonds to build with his father who cares for him unconditionally? Let us not forget who is to blame here, his mother. His mother put him in this situation. She was the selfish one. We must also place the blame on the Brazilian courts for not taking care of this case according to international law years ago. I do not doubt the love his family in Brazil has for him, but the fact that they are keeping him from the man who is his father and raised him for the first four years of his life, then was forced to fight to have the right returned to him for the next five years is unjust. Our society is riddled with fathers who skip out on their children so how dare you deprive one who has spent his entire being to be with his son. You are wrong.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  81. Lewis

    David, I feel for you. And you and your family will be in my prayers. I too am a father that had his son taken from him for 12 years. The United States laws are not so different. No lawyers or courts would help me. It wasn't until I had a friend with connections get me the information I needed to find my son. I was reunited with my son in May of 2007. he didn't know me. never talked to me, had never seen me. David I promise you it will work out. I believe it in my heart. I can say this because after 12 years, my now 14 year old son lives with me. His biological father.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  82. Janet

    Since I first heard of David's plight to bring Sean home, I have heard David's story told on several media outlets always expecting there to be a catch. There usually is and reporters are pretty competent about fleshing out all the angles. But nothing has stood out to demonstrate David should have seen this coming or that he was not involved in his son's life. On the contrary, I'm impressed by all the pictures and videos that depict a close, loving father. This is not a father who came out of the wood work after years of disinterest. I have actually been impressed with David's tenacity and hope & pray he doesn't lose hope himself after all the years of struggling to get his kidnapped son back. To have ripped the father & son apart and years later say it's the best for the child to remain separated from the father that he was kidnapped from is insane. Actually the brazilian family is quite guilty of any psychological harm the child may have suffered because I understand that for years David was allowed no contact with his son. Not only was David deceived in believing he would see his child at the end of his wife's vacation, so was the four year old son who expected to return home to his dad. I would bet all those years of not being able to see his dad impacted him. I saw the family representative on Larry King live this year and the family's manipulations were evident as displayed through this man. I think it's time for our government to step up on this case. Not only is this child's only surviving parent a US citizen, but so is this child. Some in Brazil will not allow one of our own to come home. Our leaders in congress and the state department need to step up on efforts to get Sean released to his father's custody and brought back home. It really will take a miracle which I am praying and believing for.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  83. Sarah

    Best of luck to you David...I'm praying for you. Stay positive and never give up – you're an inspiration.

    And to Tanya Evans – you should be ashamed of yourself with that comment. I'll pray for you too. You say Brazil cares about the kids and their emotional state...did you even read the story? It says "Hopefully with the [Brazilian] Supreme Court ruling, with the 82-page report from the first-level federal judge ordering my son to be returned home immediately as well as Brazilian court-appointed mental health experts evaluating my son, saying he’s been under psychological trauma, emotionally damaged from this family in Brazil, pointing he needs to be home." UM, HELLOOOO??? He's EMOTIONALLY DAMAGED from being in there. If they cared about his emotional state, why are mental health experts saying this?? As a mother, this story BREAKS my heart – I can only assume with your ridiculous comment, that you Ms. Evans, don't have any children...probably a good thing.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  84. Mysti

    @ Tanya Evans
    If Mr. Goldman had just left his child for the past five years, I'd believe there might be at least some merit in your comment. However, he has been trying to regain custody of his child for the entire time. Any alienation that may have occurred is because of Brazil's lack of due process.
    If your child were stolen in the night, you would want her back. If you found her five years later in the care of a loving family, would you be able to follow your own advice, or would you want her back?

    June 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  85. angie

    good luck to you and i wish you all the best in getting your son back.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  86. Tracy

    We are praying for this family. Praying that this son comes home and praying that the healing can take place for this young boy as he comes back to the United States.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  87. Cat

    David has alot and I mean alot of supporters behind him. If this were my child I would be doing exactly the same thing. Sean will come home Period! end of story !

    June 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  88. Terri

    Tanya Evans your comment makes me sick. You evidently are not a mother, and if you are I feel sorry for your children. This father has every right to have his son back. He evidently loves him very much to go to such extremes to get him back home where he belongs.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  89. Brian


    I honestly cannot believe what you are saying... If this were a woman you would be singing a different tune... To suggest his ex had a reason... That is ignorant... Unfortunately for men we have no control over our reproductive organs, and courts continue a gender bias for women...
    A child belongs with his parents, if the mother is not there then the father should have custody PERIOD!!!
    Unless you or anyone else can prove that this man will hurt his son then shut up...
    Yes the boy is 9 and has been in contact with his father when permitted... but he was 4 when he left and they had a loving relationship..

    THere are too many women like YOu who think they can do as they please with their children without paying any consequences for thier actions...

    What is best for the child is to be with his father!!!!!!!!!!
    His mother evidentually got the KARMA she deserved......

    June 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  90. swctw

    Waste of time trying to fight a legal system in another country when it's very difficult just trying to handle custody battles in the US. What does he think the results are going to be?

    I'm surprised he doesn't just put his money together, get some P.I.'s or ex-military with connections that would take the job and plan something to go grab his son then bring him back to the US under cover. He is not going to get his son back playing by their rules.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  91. mya

    Real father stay with his son is the best.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  92. Leigh J

    Folks: There are many decent, kind, loving fathers right her in the US living a very similar nightmare. Our own courts have become a bureaucracy that is completely out of control. Sadly, if you are caught in a position where you do not have leverage (in many cases a lot of money) you can lose your children. Kids deserve to be with parents that love them. When are courts across the globe going to recognize the "human factor" in this and do the right thing? Too many kids are going to bed with broken hearts due to the selfishness of others. This has to stop.

    Best of luck David, I am certainly praying for you.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  93. Randy/Midwest

    Go getem Dave you are in our prayers.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  94. Melora, Longwood, Florida

    I sincerely hope that the State Department keeps the pressure on the Brazilian government, so that Mr. Goldman gets his son back with him; this case is a horrendous example that justice can be bought in Brazil; corrupt judges can be swayed to take a stand, no matter what the law or even common sense says. Upon the death of his mother, Sean should have been returned immediately to his surviving parent, who never abandoned him. Mr. Goldman's struggle on behalf of his son, and on behalf of the other 65 children currently kidnapped by parents in Brazil is amazing and I sincerely hope that he gets Sean back in Jersey soon, and that all those other families will also get the children back from captivity by the Brazilian so-called 'court system'.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  95. lily filippi

    David, keep your faith, and keep the pressure on – infact, turn it up. THis is a nightmare. If it were my child, I would fight at the highest levels, which I know you are doing. All the best to you and your beautiful boy. Let us know how things go.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  96. KB

    To Tanya Evans, how could you even write that he has no rights, he is selfish and wrong???? Do you have children, do you have any idea what is like to have them taken away from you or you not being able to see them? If NOT, then keep your comments to yourself.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  97. Rick

    There's nothing really unusual about this case.. it happens in the United States all the time. My ex-fiancee has full custody of our daughter since custody of a child of unwed parents defaults to the mother in Oregon. Since then, she's had two other children with two husbands and has lived in 5 different states. I can't get partial custody because she doesn't stay in one state long enough to establish residency, nor even do things like get my daughter enrolled in school or taken to doctor's exams. She's turning five and still not potty trained and doesn't know her alphabet. Visitation is at her "whim", amounting to one or two weeks a year as long as they don't interfere with my ex's church functions or camping trips with her parents..

    June 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  98. Jason

    I am glad that the mother passed, and wish the same for the step father

    June 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  99. Cat


    Before you run your Big Mouth on David Goldman and His son I suggest you do your Homework and get a clue . Try going to and just read what this father has been through the last 5 years and sean as well. Man from the sounds of the post... your a man hater. Take your prozac and take a chill . EDUCATE YOURSELF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  100. Herakles

    To those reading in Brazil... For a nation that has a proud History of accomplishments and success, for being a leader in both the continental and international realm, are you willing to risk your standing and reputation on the world stage for a child that belongs with his "biological" parent.
    A someone who has his eyes fixed on the highest office in our land, this issue best be resolved soon. The boy belongs with his "biological" father. The boy is a natural citizen of the United States. The last time I check, kidnapping was considered an international crime. Wars have begun for reasons such as this(Trojan War).
    To the citizens of Brazil, take a lesson from History.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
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