Tinton Falls Man in Custody Fight to Visit Son in Brazil

Asbury Park Press
Tinton Falls Man in Custody Fight to Visit Son in Brazil
by Bill Handelman
February 6, 2009

Tinton Falls man who has waged an international battle to gain custody of his son will get to visit his son in Brazil for the first time in four and a half years.

David Goldman gained the opportunity see his son, Sean, 8, following a five-hour court session in Brasilia, the capital.

U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., who traveled to Brazil with Goldman to help him reunite him with his son, reported the agreement after attending the session.

Goldman was instructed to speak to no one about the case, but Smith was under no such gag order. Smith, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the agreement allowing Goldman to visit Sean is a breakthrough in the case.

Goldman has said he has not seen his son since his former wife, Bruna, took the boy for a two-week vacation to her native Brazil in 2004 and never returned.

She later divorced Goldman in Brazil — a divorce he says is not valid in the United States — and married Rio de Janeiro lawyer Joao Paulo Lins e Silva. She died last year of complications from the birth of a child with Lins e Silva.

In recent weeks the case has received added attention. A week ago NBC devoted a full hour to the story on “Dateline,” a prime-time program. Since then, more than 20,000 people have signed a petition on the web site, www.bringseanhome.org, supporting him.

Smith had watched that “Dateline,” segment which aired Jan. 30, contacted Goldman and arranged a meeting Monday, at which point he said he would go to Brazil with him.

On Wednesday, Smith submitted House Resolution 125, calling on the Brazilian government “to immediately discharge all its duties under the Hague Convention . . . to obtain the return of Sean Goldman.”

On Thursday, Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg and Sen. Robert Menendez, both D-N.J., sent a letter to the Brazilian president asking him to examine the case and take the appropriate action to reunite Sean with his father.

And Friday, Rep. Rush Hold, D-N.J., whose district includes Tinton Falls, said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assured him that the United States will help Goldman to bring his son home.

Skip to toolbar