Written by Nicole Gaudiano; and Ally Mutnick, Washington Bureau, APP.com
WASHINGTON — A bill inspired by New Jersey resident David Goldman’s five-year battle to bring his son, Sean, home from Brazil passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
The “Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act” is designed to bolster the government’s ability to help parents rescue abducted children taken overseas.
“David lived every parent’s worst nightmare, but would not rest until Sean was home and back in his arms,” Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said in a statement. “This bill will help parents like David with the tools to assist in securing the return of their abducted children and bolster prevention options so that children are less likely to be abducted in the first place.”
Menendez introduced the bill with Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee’s ranking Republican. A similar bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., unanimously passed the House in December.
“Every day of separation brings immense suffering to abducted children and their left-behind parents,” Smith said in a statement. “The Goldman Act will mitigate enormous pain and suffering and accelerate the return of abducted children.”
Among the Senate bill’s provisions are requirements for annual State Department reports on international child abductions and for U.S. diplomatic and consular missions to monitor abduction and access cases and assist left-behind parents with resolving their cases. The bill would authorize $5 million in 2015 and 2016 to train officials in other countries about abductions.