Public opinion and the final stretch of the Goldman case

by Eduardo de Oliveira
20 April 2009
BrazilcomZ – O

The Goldman case starts to come to an end – and the conclusion may be dramatic. A Senator (and former President) published a note in which he called the biological father a “playboy” and “Godless”, and only opportune quotes – among the 17-page interview Sean gave to psychologists – leaked to the press.

What is the ulterior motive? Would it be an attempt to ‘cushion’ the impact that a decision for Sean to remain in Brazil would be to public opinion?

You [reader] must have already noticed that this case still touches readers all over Brazil. Have you noticed the vast majority of comments published in Brazilian newspapers
are in favor of Sean’s return to the US?
“I believe it’s up to him (Sean) to choose his own happiness, his destiny and his country. Judges aside, the human tragedy of this child is greated than the dispute, in which money
replaced the tenderness made impossible by the passing of his mother,” wrote Jose Sarney in a note published at Folha de Sao Paulo.

There’s not a word from Sarney about complying with international laws. In one swing, the Honorable President of the Senate threw the Hague Convention in the trash and handed an
8-year-old boy the decision that not even a whole country (Brazil) was able to make – all this while embelishing the case with allusions to the Candelaria massacre and world literature.

Pay attention, Sarney, all Brazil needs is legislators brave enough to comply with international treaties they sign. Because, as ‘psychoanalyst Mario Corso said, the key element is not “the best deal” for Sean but what is right.

“I have heard arguments that the boy is okay where he is, so let’s leave everything as is. For this line of thought, it doesn’t matter whether this is right or wrong before international law, or even if they agree it’s wrong, concludes that would be more important to know whether the boy is being loved. Or yet, whether the stepfather would be better than the father, with him the’d have a better future. As if life were guided by the best deal.”

When Sean said “I’d rather live here,”, his words reflected exactly the complexity that the [Hague] Convention wishes to avoid. In other words, Brazil has not defended the minor’s best interests when it failed to return him to the US within 6 weeks. Now, regardless of the decision of the 16th Federal Court, Sean will have something to lose.

“Eliminating a father is greater than forcing a choice, it’s to deny the role of a father, which is to include the child in the laws and rules of life, that usually overlap affection. Here Sean’s socio-affective family fails,” wrote Corso in the culture section of the Zero Hora newspaper.

Nobody is saying that the mistakes made by the Brazilian family were on purpose. It’s even possible they were committed by love. But many of these family members’ actions collide
with a natural right of a father. In a recent conversation with David Goldman, I told him: “one thing is certain, you can be sure Sean is being well taken care of in Brazil.” He said “Is it really, Eduardo? He can be surrounded of all material possesions, but how is his his psychological side?”

Even Sean’s psychological side the Brazilian Justice is trying to evaluate. But why does Brazil insist in ignoring that there is an appropriate forum for this case to be discussed?
In this case, the public opinion has been stronger than predicted. It doesn’t matter what Senators, Representatives, attorneys or former presidents are saying, this case deserves a
conclusion that takes into consideration not only what’s best for Sean but what’s best for Brazil. Because the world is watching.

Don’t listen to just what I have to say. But think about this: how many international articles have you read that defend Sean’s permanence in Brazil?

Original in Portuguese:

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