nyone who has heard David Goldman’s tale of love and loss couldn’t help but be touched and sadly helpless at not being able to do much beyond sign a petition, send an e-mail or make a donation to his cause. Goldman’s wife had taken their then-4-year-old son, Sean, from their Tinton Falls home to Brazil in 2004 for a two-week vacation, then told him she wasn’t returning. He hasn’t seen his child since.
Now Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., is involved. If we know him like we think we do, Smith won’t rest until Sean is back home in New Jersey with his dad. Smith and Goldman are together in Brazil, where a court hearing is scheduled for today, to see that justice is finally served. We wish them both well, and hope and pray for Sean’s quick return.
When Smith latches onto a cause, he’s a bulldog in seeing it through. We’re glad to see him sink his teeth into this egregious miscarriage of justice brought on by a Brazilian legal system that has ignored the Hague Convention in favor of a wealthy, powerful native family — and a U.S. system that has dropped the ball in its responsibility to one of its own.
Goldman has been fighting in the courts here and in Brazil since 2004. Though Brazilian courts admitted the matter should have been handled in the U.S., they did little to make Sean’s mother Bruna comply with the law. Then in August, Bruna, who remarried in Brazil, died suddenly after giving birth to another child. But her Brazilian husband, a lawyer from a powerful family, has tried to have Goldman’s name on the birth certificate replaced with his own.
Press columnist Bill Handleman has been following the story closely. Then a “Dateline NBC” special last Friday caught the attention of Smith and his wife. By the time the show ended, Smith was on the phone with his staff. By Monday, Smith and Goldman had met, and on Wednesday Smith introduced a House resolution in Washington calling on Brazil to return Sean to his father before heading to the airport for a flight to Brazil.
We, along with Goldman’s friends and supporters and surely many of the millions who caught his story here and on TV, will be watching, waiting and hoping that this time Goldman will finally be reunited with his son.
For anyone just latching onto the story now, visit Goldman’s Web site — www.bringseanhome.org — and sign the online petition. Anyone with the means can make a donation to the staggering legal bills Goldman has racked up trying to get his son back. We hope the Web site soon will no longer be necessary for anything but offers of congratulations.