Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jun 2, 2009 in At TMV | 38 comments

Sean Goldman, Finally Coming Home?


In “Bring Sean Home,” I wrote on the desperate fight by an American father, David Goldman, to bring his son home—Sean Goldman, an 8-year old boy who is being held in Brazil in violation of all international norms and human decency, after his mother took him to Brazil in 2004. She later died in Brazil

NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell has been right on top of this story all along.

In “Bring Sean Home, Now a Matter of State,” I wrote on the March 4, 2009, NBC Today Show interview, when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Andrea Mitchell that she was raising the Sean Goldman matter at the highest levels of the Brazilian government and also with several members of the U.S. Congress, and that she would keep pressing to reunite David Goldman with his son.

On March 14, 2009, President Obama had a face-to-face meeting at the White House, with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

According to the AP, Obama privately raised the custody case of David Goldman.

That’s all we have heard officially, up to now.

Today, there are reports that a federal court in Brazil has ruled that David Goldman should get custody of his 8-year-old son.

Andrea Mitchell has also just announced the court ruling and that Sean’s father, David Goldman, is in Brazil to try to bring his son back home.

The key word is “try,” because, although the court ruling is clear, and Sean is supposed to be turned over to U.S. authorities at the U.S. Consulate tomorrow at 2 PM, there are reports that the powerful Brazilian family, who has been holding Sean Goldman for so long, may appeal the ruling.

We’ll find out tomorrow, if the rule of law will be upheld in Brazil, or whether, once more, a powerful, influential family will be able to ignore that law.

And, thank you, Andrea Mitchell for never giving up.

Photo: Courtesy BringSeanHome.Org

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Facebook User


    • Momof2sons

      The family in Rio is not the surviving parent of Sean. David Goldman has been deprived of his son illegally for more than five years. While grandparents and more extended family are good, they are NOT the parent of a child. How would any of you who comment that the extended family should raise Sean feel if one of your children was taken from you and held in a foreign country by your In-Laws???? I would never stand for it, and I doubt that you would either. Shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • annamjacoby

      The Brazilians should have opened this up and immedi ately tried to INCLUDE the real father in Sean’s life!! If this opportunity was available, the boy would be comfortable with his dad, the dad could see the the boy loves his brazilian family too, I am saure David is a compassionate man, he would see those issues and work them out.

      But no one talks about how little Sean felt when he was taken away from an obviously fun and loving daddy. Do you think he may have cried for his dad for weeks, do you think he was traumatized, in a strange land, changing everything he knew? They talk about how it will traumatize the boy to leave his “family” and go to a strange place.. But>>>>>>>isn’t that EXACTLY what they did to him when they took him from AMERICA and his DAD??? Well children are resilient, and SEAN needs to know His Dad has been thinking of him and trying to see him EVERY DAY for 5 years!! Now WHAT kind of family harms a child like that by keeping love and the truth from HIM?

  • jj jones

    Let’s hope the bio father realizes that his child has a family in Rio. A sister, grandparents, a home, a father. A real father would want what is best for his son. Obviously taking him from his home and family 6months after tragically losing his mother in childbirth is in no way in the child’s best interest. Seems this case is more about “father’s (bio) rights” then about the child.

    • sonbra

      David can take care of his son and will be, I’m sure, more then happy to have the visit of all his relatives from Brazil.
      They could move to New Jersey, being in the neighborhood, in that way everyone will be happy!
      It is Sean rights, to be with his father!

      thanks for your concern!

    • Patricia Bieritz Adams

      It seems you have read very little pertaining to this case nor have you watched any in-depth reports in the media relating to this. While Sean does have family in Rio, Sean was taken by his mother to Rio. Once there, she refused to return him to his father in the United States. Sean’s father has fought for his parental rights and has legal custody according to the laws of the United States and international law. When Sean’s mother died in childbirth, his step-father again refused to return Sean to his father. Because the step-father’s family is an influential one in Brazil, fighting them in court has been extremely difficult. Sean’s father has been to see Sean several times, sometimes sucessful and other times, not so. However, he has never waivered in his love for his son and his desire to have Sean home with him. While there are times when a child should NOT be placed with a biological parent, this is definitely not one of times. When you use quotations around the word father in your comment, you seem to be saying that this man does not deserve custody of his son. You are wrong! Nothing this man has done has been for himself or his interest. Everything he has done has been in his son’s best interests. In addition, he has followed the laws while his ex-wife and her new family snubbed their noses at the law, both US and international. They have acted selfishly and not in the best interests of Sean. This boy deserves to come home tomorrow and I pray he is on his way.

    • siiri

      Are you an idiot or just plain stupid? Seriously, how could you even leave such a comment here? This child was taken away from his bio father…This child belongs to his biological father and this child and father have every right to be reunited and brought back to the states…where he also happens to have grandparents. I can not believe that an idiot like you is allowed to leave comments here. Grow some brain! Welcome home Sean!

    • Elizabeth Pendleton

      Carrie, I can only presume you have not bothered to really pay attention to what occurred here. The mother took this child, threatened the father that he would never see his son and go broke if he notified the authorities that she refused to return with the son, and then denied him the right to even SEE his son. While the mother’s death is tragic, she and her family chose to deny this father and son the ability to be together. She and her family chose to attempt to poison Sean by acting like he never looked for the boy, when he did indeed go virtually broke, fighting for years to try to be able to be with his son.
      By your logic, anyone who kidnaps a child should get to keep them, simply because they were able to keep the parent who loved him away from him. This child’s best interest is served in being with the father that loved him enough to put his life on hold the entire time this child was gone, flying back and forth to Brazil in attempts to see him, in endless court cases. David has also stated that he will make sure Sean gets all the help he needs professionally to readjust.
      Personally, I feel the mother and her family should have been put in jail. What kind of woman takes her child away from the father like a thief in the night, hiding behind her family and her thug-like new lawyer husband instead of being an adult, and working out an arrangement for the child to know both parents? And her family and husband have only continued her horrible acts after she passed away. Sadly, I’m sure Sean will someday want to find out what occurred for himself. How sad that he’ll have to see how cold and manipulative his mother was, at the same time he sees how hard his father fought to be with him.

    • Guest

      Hey, carriesp, several replies have been left for you on this site, but none directed to your email. Please do revisit and read the comments.

      Sad how out of touch you are emotionally with the concept of parenting and fatherhood. David’s grief is profound. My heart goes out to him and I hope that he is reconnected with his blood, his only child, his son very soon.

    • estelma


      I am assuming that this is the first time you read about this case…….

    • bsully77

      Carriesp – 1st of all, the kid does NOT have a father in Brazil. His Father lives in NJ.
      Second, this is NOT about what is in who’s best interest but the application
      of international law. The child was kidnapped and MUST be returned to his
      REAL father! It’s that simple.

      • thomasflynn21


    • thomasflynn21

      Carriesp-right, right and I suppose up and leaving his father abruptly was less then tragic for a 4 year old boy, not too mention being brought to an entirely new country. This would not be happening if the mather didn’t abduct him to begin with. Are you blind to that fact or something? You’re probably just ignorant.

    • thomasflynn21

      right, right and I suppose up and leaving his father abruptly was less then tragic for a 4 year old boy, not too mention being brought to an entirely new country. This would not be happening if the mather didn’t abduct him to begin with. Are you blind to that fact or something? You’re probably just ignorant.

  • sonbra

    David can take care of his son and will be, I’m sure, more then happy to have the visit of all his relatives from Brazil.
    They could move to New Jersey, being in the neighborhood, in that way everyone will be happy!
    It is Sean right, to be with his father!

    thanks for your concern!

  • EEllis

    Carrie thats absurd. By your logic if someone kidnaped a kid and kept them for long enough and were good parents then it would be wrong for the natural parents to take back their kid. Kids know how these things are supposed to work. He would know he should be with his father and would most likely feel worse about not being wanted than from being removed from where he is now. Besides those SOB’s should be in jail were they couldn’t raise the kid anyway.

  • AustinRoth

    I will also wait to celebrate until after they actually hand him over. Call me cynical, but I get the feeling they may not.

  • lin_1945

    Carriesp . . . is it the best that a child that has been brainwashed remain in that environment? I have worked with children in similar situations and they rebound quickly. David Goldman has stated Sean will receive professional help with any adjustments that need to be made. I would say that David Goldman has bent over backwards to proceed in obtaining the rightful custody deprived to him. Sean should not learn that if your family has money and power that the laws to not matter. I would never want one of my children to be in a controlling atmosphere like the one Sean is living in. Be fair. It might be more harmful if Sean thought his birth father didn’t want him rather than a stepfather was able to control him by money and power. Frankly, the stepfather should be disbarred.

  • DdW

    From the official Sean Goldman site:

    1 June 2009

    ictory at Last! Federal Judge Rafael de Souza Pereira Pinto of the 16th Federal Court of Rio De Janeiro issued an 80 page ruling on Monday 1 June, ordering the return of Sean Goldman to the United States in 48 hours. An English translation of the ruling will be posted when completed.

    David left for Brazil Monday evening and will be reunited with Sean on Wednesday June 3rd at 2:00 p.m. local time at the United States Consulate in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

    We wish to express our sincere appreciation to everyone who has supported David Goldman’s +4 year battle for justice. It wasn’t just a few people but hundreds of thousands of supporters around the world that made this happen. Tonight the we can say that the power of people working together has no limits, and surely the millions of prayers for David and Sean were heard. ”

    Yes, AR, anything is possible

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed and say a prayer


  • archangel

    thank you Dorian for this… we’ll hold prayer that this child will have access to all who truly love him.

    I can attest that children who grow into adulthood believing their parent(s) never fought for them, fought to see them, never supported them, never fought their way through hostile ex-spouses to see their children, carry a deep wound.

    That this child’s mother died in childbirth in Brazil after having divorced the father of her first son and marrying her Brazilian lawyer, who specialized in child custody… after the mother had secretly taken the boy to Brazil, telling the biological father falsehoods about where she was going… regardless of the adults’ emnity, the child would likely have been best served after his mother’s death, by staying in Brazil in familiar circumstances after losing his only mother, AND seeing his father daily as well. Assuming the mother and the new Brazilian stepfather were ‘good enough’ parent and guardian. Yet, we see if often, a child will want to stay even with a horrendous parent rather than go with kind and good people who are strangers to them. It can be a tangled situation.

    However, it seems clear from reading the material about the case, that the step-father and the step-father’s father both being Brazilian lawyers, who have defied court orders to surrender the child to his biological father and who have countersued the biological father for ‘ruining their reputations’ as lawyers by his giving interviews to any one who will hear him out… it seems that the two lawyers must believe something about the biological father as interpreted by the now deceased mother of the boy.

    Having had front row seats at some of the most opprobrium-filled custody battles in my work as a shrink, I would say no one wins and especially the child or children when the adults are not protecting a child from real harm… but as we say in the parlance… ‘they dont want their ex, but they dont want their child to have their ex as father or mother, either.’

    The child is often not consulted whilst the adults create scar tissue for the child by saying how much they each/ all love the child. It is a massive disconnect from the child’s actual bonding needs and self-sense of reality.

    I’d just add, that in cases where there is a forcing of biological parents to surrender their children, in biological parent relinquishments of children caused by poverty and/or betrayals and/ or withholding of resources, it is the sons, even more than the daughters ,who are haunted by ‘why did you (my mother/ father) not keep me/ fight for me?’

    Saying to such a child, your mommy and daddy loved you but could not keep you, doesnt cut it for the deep psyche. THe soul of the child sees plenty of parents who are poor who kept their children and who love them dearly. They really really want to know why, not be given a ‘story,’ they want the facts, even the grusome ones, even though they often do not want to hurt others in their lives now by asking these questions aloud.

    There is hardly anything more cutting to the developing innocent psyche than to believe that one was a ‘mistake,’ or/and not wanted, that no one went to the ends of hell for them in order to keep them. Many young children if given the choice to stay or go, even with an ill parent, even if both seem they are going to die together, will choose to stay with their biological parent.

    THe stories of the war trains of children sent to other countries during the world war II were not orderly trains of children; the agony of the children, the screaming, crying, inconsolability of the children –and the deathlly silence of many of the children later, is still talked about by those who are still alive who helped the efforts to ‘save the children,’ many of whom were indeed saved, only to come home to find all dead, and they alive, with lifelong crushing survivor’s guilt, not to mention primary trauma of being torn from their parents to begin with.

    It seems a horrible version of Sophie’s choice: injure the child this way, or injure the child that way. Not saying how each situation should be called. No sane person can. But there is such a Hobson’s choice about all these matters, that is rarely weighed in media honestly.

    thanks Dorian for adding to the effort / los todos verdad


    • DdW

      Thank you, Elizabeth and dr.e for explainig much better than I could, that, in effect, neither the circumstances nor the duration of a kidnapping should have any effect whatsoever on the rights of the father–in this case–or the kidnapped child


  • Guest

    Carriesp, you obviously do not know enough about the Goldman’s story. What’s really amazing is your total lack of empathy which leads me to conclude that you have never been a parent. You also have no concept of fatherhood, you know, the kind where fathers really love their children. That kind of fatherhood. If you have been a parent, your normal response to David’s story would be a profound sense of grief at the loss of a beloved child

    …. for no reason than to satisfy the greed of a pair of grandparents who want him exclusively for themselves. Sean’s stepfather doesn’t give a hoot. A very young man, he’s probably already busy looking for his next wife. You want David to just walk away from his only child. Amazing!!!

  • EEllis

    I’m wondering how much of this is purely a class issue.

  • Oh, Carrie! Once you are a parent – that becomes your whole reason for living life. Did the Rio family ever consider the life Sean lived with his bio father? You are right! It IS about the bio father’s rights. Ok, enough carrie bashing, what is wrong with that justice system down there in brazil?

  • AustinRoth

    I am sorry to report that a Brazilian Supreme Court Justice has just suspended the order for Sean to come home.

    Brazilian judge suspends order to reunite boy, American father

  • jj jones

    What you have all been sucked into is the barage of advertising done at the Goldman camp. He has been adopted by angry fathers who use his “story” as a launching pad for hatred against women. Something found deeply rooted in society. You can see it in both men who feel threatened and women who get off on a cause.
    I feel simply that women don’t flee from good men. Good fathers don’t have problems with access to kids. Surely though, with all the audience he will be a “Disney Dad” for all to see. That shoud buffer some of what she was protecting him from. My concern is for the boy. I could care less about your cause. Hopefully, you will be able to find a new one. I am sure at this point you need a salute. Good luck finding one.

    • AustinRoth

      Carrie –

      Yes, there is no case ever of a psycho woman taking out their anger and mental instability against a husband by using a child as a weapon against them unfairly, or making false charges.

      All men are evil; all woman paragons of goodness.

  • DdW


    ” That shoud buffer some of what she was protecting him from.”

    Can you share with us the facts you have to support your insinuation?

  • jj jones

    I know honey, all women are angry and mentally unstable. Especially if they don’t do what you want them to do.
    The ol’ mentally unstable routine…(yawn)…next

    • AustinRoth

      Sorry dearie – it is you who is claiming that there MUST be a reason she took him, not me, in the absence of any evidence whatsoever. And again, it is you who is making blanket statements, not I. My post did not say anything about all women are angry and mentally unstable. It did imply that maybe, just perhaps, SOME are.

      So, here is a question for you. Is it your position there is no possibility that he indeed has done nothing wrong, or in your mind is it only possible that he is at fault somehow? That NO woman anywhere, at anytime, has indeed been vengeful, angry, perhaps mentally unstable, and lied to authorities about a man or his actions?

      And I bet you ignore this question.

  • jj jones

    Could anyone tell me if dude has a J-O-B? Reading the propaganda written on the take sean site it would appear that he does not.

    • cassiewonders

      it doesn’t matter if he has a job or not. irrelevant. unemployed fathers in the u.s. do not lose their kids because they’re unemployed. by the way, he does work. he just doesn’t have a glamorous high-paying professional gig that earns him millions, which is apparently what the stepfather thinks gives him the right to keep sean. MONEY. LOTS MORE OF IT.

  • bsully77

    Carrie is obviously an angry lesbian.
    That aside, even if David Goldman has a job or not,
    it doesn’t make him a good or bad father.
    I just love the fact that the mother died while giving birth
    to her new hubby’s kid (I feel for the kid) but that’s GOD’s
    way. It’s time to financially pressure Brazil.

  • sanenilicious


  • bringthischildbackhome

    This case is about parental kidnapping. The mother took this child out of the country and never brought him back. She was under a court order to return him to the U.S. and never did. While in Brazil, she obtain a divorce from Sean’s father and remarried. She died in childbirth. This child has illegally been in Brazil for five years.
    This child belongs with his father. Sure, he has relatives in Brazil. My children have relatives in Germany but that doesn’t mean that they should live there if I die. They belong with their father in the United States.
    Yes, this is a case of a father’s rights. Absolutely! Let’s get this American child home where he rightfully belongs. He should have been here five years ago and never have been subjected to this.

  • cassiewonders

    let’s also remember that the child was taken from his father without the father’s consent or awareness of what was to happen. the father DID NOT RELEASE the child forever to the mother to stay in brazil for the rest of his life.

  • cassiewonders

    parents, male or female, who kidnap children and then convince those children that the other parent doesn’t want them are evil people and so dysfunctional that the subject requires a whole other forum. men and women do this all the time — occasionally there is the sexual or physical abuse situation that is actually true, but in my experience as an adult child of a mother who took us from our father for 3 years, the fact remains that my mother was attempting to destroy my father for him having the nerve to end their relationship. her reasoning was pure poison. and she scammed a lot of people about my father, convincing nearly everyone involved that he was a bum and a liar and that he didn’t want us. i was able to get out of that mess as of 1975 thanks to my father and my stepmother being very determined to find me. my mother has paid the price for this legally and i have to say that a man like sean’s stepfather in brazil is going to eventually pay the same price, perhaps not via the laws of his country, but through a fate that will steer his life in a bad direction. he seems to be a very petty and angry person, hell bent on keeping sean only due to his believing whatever lies the mother told him about david goldman. an angry, spiteful parent — either gender — can do a ton of permanent damage this way. i see the mother as a very spoiled and self-absorbed person who didn’t get the hot shot life in new jersey that she once had growing up in brazil among wealthy, connected people. david goldman might very well have been a laid back, unambitious person — but zillions of fathers and mothers are like that, AND THEY DO NOT HAVE THEIR CHILDREN TAKEN FROM THEM.

  • Judge Pinto’s decisions in June 2009 were correct. Hopefully, the Brazilian Court will act promptly to order the return of Sean to his father.

    Among other important rulings, Judge Pinto said that, in fact, there was now a second abduction (the second by the step-father who had no legal right to keep Sean after Bruna died). Lins e Silva will not be allowed to use the defense that Sean is “adapted to Brazil” and he cannot claim that Sean’s “habitual residence” was Brazil at the time of the second abduction (wrongful detention). Upon the death of his mother, the right to custody of Sean as a matter of law — Brazilian law, no less — passed to his biological surviving parent, David Goldman. Since Goldman filed his second petition for return under the Hague Convention only 35 days after Bruna’s death, the defense of adaptation to the new environment won’t be accepted.

    To quote Judge Pinto:
    “In other words, and thinking in theory, it is not reasonable – indeed, it reaches the level of surrealism – to admit that a given person, devoid of familial power upon the minor – a third party -, objects to the delivery of the child to the father or the mother, or both, under the basis that the child is integrated into their new environment.

    “To admit this possibility means to open dangerous gaps capable of constituting real absurdities. And the absurd, as is well known, cannot find refuge in the Judiciary.”

    Judge Pinto then gave an example . . . theater of the absurd . . . stranger kidnaps child, raises child as his own, gets married, now the child has a “father” and a “mother” . . . and later “siblings.” Can anyone reasonably believe that the law would reward the kidnapper by refusing to return the child to his lawful parents (who have tracked him down) on the claim that the child is “adapted to Brazil?”

    “Of course not!” (His exclamation mark) Judge Pinto said that it would be convenient for the court to leave the decision to Sean, but that doing so would be irresponsible and cowardly.

    Explaining the difficulty in reunification, Judge Pinto discusses how Lins e Silva thwarted the court-ordered visitation by not being present when in October 2008 he was to allow David Goldman to see Sean and how later Lins e Silva placed restrictions on the visitation that were not in the court’s order (confinement to the grounds, a supervisor within feet of David and Sean, for example).

    My entire summary of Judge Pinto’s June Decisions may be read here:

    Other articles about David and Sean Goldman on my Blog may be accessed here:

    Jeanne M. Hannah

Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :