David Goldman Battled Governments to Get His Son Back!
What would you do if your child was swept away to a foreign country?
-Brittany Roshelle Davis
You’d think the term Parent would be universal. When it comes to parents that are native to different countries, it isn’t the case. David Goldman’s son was abducted by his wife and taken to Brazil, her native country, when their son was just four-years-old. David Goldman was almost certain he would never see son again. In fact, it would be another 5 agonizing years later before his son was returned home to him. David’s here to spread the word on international child abduction for parents everywhere and share his story.
What was it like holding your infant son, Sean, on the day he was born?
It was truly the most beautiful experience I ever had. Creating life with someone who I deeply loved made it that much more special. I was the luckiest guy in the world. I loved every moment.
You had it all: a loving wife and a beautiful son. But then, your life changed forever. Your wife, Bruna, called you from a “family vacation” in Brazil. She told you the marriage was now over and she was keeping Sean with her in Brazil. What was that phone call like?
In the blink of an eye, my world was shattered. I was shocked, devastated, and in disbelief. How the person whom I loved and was still married to could act and behave in such a calculating and cold manner was incomprehensible. Not only were her actions extremely cruel to me and the rest of Sean’s family, it was the most cruel and selfish act a parent can do to a child.
You talked to her on the phone for weeks, realizing she would never send Sean back despite your rights as a parent. In effect, she kidnapped your son. What options did you have at this point?
After the gravity of the situation sunk in, I focused on my son. How and what could I do for us to be together? I began to seek legal representation, while trying not to completely break down mentally and emotionally. My world had been turned upside down in a two-minute phone call from thousands of miles away.
The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction states a child abducted by a parent must be returned within 6 weeks. However, the 6 weeks came and went. The Brazilian courts refused to uphold their treaty obligations. How were they allowed to do this?
I was up against very powerful and clever lawyers that were able to manipulate the Brazilian judicial system by filing endless motions and appeals. Also, many of the judges viewed it as a custody case, ignoring The Hague Treaty law. Even those judges in Brazil who acknowledged that my son was held illegally under Treaty law and the American court orders that sought the immediate return of Sean to New Jersey, claimed that because of all the litigation set in place by the abductors, it took them too long to rule on our case and as a result, Sean was settled in Brazil – in effect supporting a kidnapping and illegal retention of a child. It was absurd!
You received a second shock when you learned that not only did your wife remarry a lawyer named Paulo Lins e Silva, she conceived a second child, and died in childbirth. How did this make you feel?
If possible, there was an even greater sense of urgency to be with my child after his mother’s tragic death. He was ripped away from his father and a loving, stable environment when he was just four years old. In his mind, he lost his dad. Now, his mother was gone. He needed me more than ever. He needed the love and comfort that only a parent can give to their child.
How President Obama got involved and David and Sean’s reunion up next