Brazil Justice Orders Boy Returned to Father in US. Stepfather Appeals

Sean Goldman Sean Goldman, 9, the US-born boy whose Brazilian mother took him to live in Brazil at age 4, against the American father's wishes is to be returned to his father immediately according to a judicial decision by a Rio de Janeiro Federal Court.

The dispute had continued between Sean's father, David Goldman and his stepfather, renowned jurist João Paulo Lins e Silva,  even after the boy's mother died in Brazil, last year, from childbirth complications.    

The decision was taken by judge Rafael Pereira Pinto, from the 16th Federal Court of the Rio de Janeiro. In his ruling, Pereira Pinto ordered the boy's "immediate return" to the United States.

The judge also determined that Sean be taken to Karen Andrade, an official at the American Consulate in Rio by Wednesday, June 3, and that in the meantime Federal Police agents should monitor all the movements of the nine-year-old.

The Brazilian judge explained that he had used the Hague Convention to base his decision. The Hague Convention determines that, when a child is taken to another country without the father's or the mother's authorization he should be immediately returned to the country where he was living, so that that nation's court decide who keeps the minor.

The lawyer for the Brazilian family, Sérgio Tostes, has already filed an injunction at Rio's Federal Court trying to prevent the boy from leaving Brazil. The motion presented Monday night should be considered today, June 2, by the Brazilian Justice.

His reaction after the judge's order: "The ruling presents a violence never seen in the history of the Brazilian justice history. There is a subordination to foreign interests."

Tostes complained that the judge refused to grant Sean his own wish. He told reporters that the boy during the psychological evaluation made by Justice experts stated seven times that he wanted to stay in Brazil. 

On the other hand, lawyers for Goldman argue that to keep the boy in Brazil would be a violation of an international convention because it would deny the biological father his own son's guardianship.

Sean Goldman was born in the state of New Jersey, but he has been living in Rio since he was 4. Bruna Bianchi Carneiro Ribeiro, the mother, left the US for what David Goldman thought it would be a short vacation.

Bruna, however, stayed in Rio  with Sean and never went back to the United States. Later, she divorced David and married João Paulo Lins e Silva. Lins e Silva, who belongs to a rich and powerful family in Brazil, has argued that taking Sean from Brazil would be an experience too traumatic for the boy.

Talking to the Jornal Nacional, Brazil's most popular news show, Luca Bianchi, Sean's uncle, said, "I am desperate. My family is desperate. We are looking for someone who can help us in this situation that is so hard and also so dishonorable."

The dispute for Sean has mobilized high officials from the American government, including secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the US ambassador in Brazil, Clifford Sobel. The subject was even brought up by president Barack Obama during a meeting he had in Washington with Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

According to the Brazilian justice's decision, Sean will go through a 15-day transition period in the United States. During this time the child will spend the day with the father and, at night, will sleep with the Brazilian family.

Starting on the 16th day, Sean will also sleep with the father, but will receive 4-hour-long daily visits from his Brazilian family. The maternal grandmother and the stepfather are expected to request the American Justice to grant them the guardianship of Sean. The Brazilian family will be able to continue visiting the boy until a final decision by the US court.


  • Show Comments (10)

  • Dr. Angel Gomez

    Lets’ be more civilized now
    Why dose this news post end here on June 4 2009?
    This cannot ignored until the boy is HOME.

  • Cindy

    Hijo de puta mother f-ers! This story makes me hate Brazilians! But i guess not all Brazilians are on the step fathers side, Which i’m glad to hear..Karma killed the mother, She was an evil Bitch for taking her son from his dad this way.

  • Captain Kirk

    [b]The Brazilian judge explained that he had used the Hague Convention to base his decision. The Hague Convention determines that, when a child is taken to another country without the father’s or the mother’s authorization he should be immediately returned to the country where he was living, so that that nation’s court decide who keeps the minor.[/b]

    ItÀ‚´s AMAZING that so many argued against something so black and white.

  • Captain Kirk

    Whereˢ۪s our little misogynist bigoted costinha, now?
    No wonder he didnˢ۪t take up my wager, fucking coward.

  • Helena

    Kidnappers, plain and simple
    It’s unbelievable that there are still people in Brazil’s legal system who are willing to step into this quicksand on behalf of the Brazilian family.

    When either parent takes a child out of the country of his birth without the other parent’s permission, it’s kidnapping. The fact that the Brazilian family haven’t even bothered to keep Sean’s English language skills shows a certain premeditation, and I’m guessing these Lins e Silva clowns did that deliberately — after all, if the kid doesn’t even speak English, why would he want to go back to the US? It’s cruel and selfish behaviour.

    The insane thing is, there’s no allegation of wrongdoing regarding David at ALL. Usually these cases cite some trumped-up charge, but there’s nothing here: just that the Brazilian mom wanted the kid, so she took him. There’s really nothing left to the story, except for her exceptionally fortuitous marriage to a lawyer who apparently specializes in cases like Sean’s. How wonderful, that he could use that international kidnapping/custody law knowledge for his own personal use.

    So now we’ve apparently got a child who’s been deliberately alienated from his father by his mother’s family — not just by slander, but by literally changing the language he communicates with. What creeps.

    Brazil, are these the people you really want to be known as? Because unfortunately, they’re the ones currently in the international spotlight, and they’re torturing David Goldman.

  • ch.c

    Sorry for you all !
    Just read the next day Brazil Supreme Court of Injustice decision……SEAN STAYS IN BRAZIL !

    Who is surprised ? Not me…for sure !
    How could it have been different with Dirty, Stinky & Smelly……. Brazilians Minds ?

  • HAHA

    Shame on the losers who felt they could keep this boy away from his REAL father..I delight in your pain and shame on you for stealing a child and poisoning his mind..karma is a b**** and so are you losers!!

  • Shelly1


    Costinha, as I said, Sean is coming back to civilization. Thank GOD!!!!

    Now it is time to sue the grandparents and get them behind bars for international kidnapping!

  • Kelley Tumen

    What goes around comes around
    Luca Bianchi states he is “desperate” who can help us?
    If you did the legal and moral thing in the first place, you would not be asking this question Luca.
    David Goldman was asking the same thing, as he was desperately fighting for the right to get his own Biological son back.
    He is the one who truly needed the help. It took him five years of fighting you and your familys ability to illegally maneuver the system to suit YOUR needs. Because you always felt you were “Above the Law” you took advantage of a man and his sons own god given rights. Your time has come Luca. You can only get away with what you were doing for so long.
    Finally, justice is being served.
    Who can help YOU????
    You will be lucky if Mr. Goldman doesn’t decide to prosecute you when this is over.
    It’s time you realize your gig is up.
    You had your five years.
    David and Sean are finally getting the justice they deserve.

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    now it will be to dangrous to fly to the USA
    Just suck it up JoÀƒ£o Paulo Lins e Silva. Lins e silva you have no real rights to the boy .
    yes it will hurt as you have been there for the boy , but as a perant dont you want the best for him ?

    if he loves you and brasil as you says he does he will be there for all of you .

    but fighting over him has brought more shock to him than his mothers own death .

    and to Sean’s uncle yes what you are is dishonorable to the country of brasil

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


You May Also Like

Brazilian Industry Stops Growing

Brazilian industrial production was stable in April in comparison with March. In relation to ...

Brazil’s CVRD Issues Record US$ 1 Billion in Bond to Foreigners

Brazil’s Vale do Rio Doce Company has just announced the sale of US$ 1 ...

Lebanese Celebrate 125 Years of Life in Brazil

Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, opened yesterday the commemorations of 125 years ...

Brazil’s Supermarkets on Recovery Path

The real value (discounting inflation) of supermarket sales in February and the first two ...

World’s Largest Floating Christmas Tree in Rio Grows to 280 Feet and 3.3 Million Lights

Celebrating a 15-year tradition Brazilians and foreign visitors alike, thousands of them, gathered at ...

One Year Later Relatives of Brazilian Slain by London Police Feel no Closure

Family and friends of a Brazilian man who was mistaken by London police officers ...

Brazil Sees Itself as Model of Dealing with Youth

The governments of Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina intend to establish joint actions for youth. ...

Brazil to Coordinate South American Fight Against Sex-Tourism

Representatives of over 45 countries are participating, in Brazil, in the 2nd Annual Meeting ...

With 18 Million Over 60, Brazil Is No Longer the Land of the Youth

The 17.6 million inhabitants over 60 ranks Brazil eighth worldwide in senior-citizen population the ...

Cornfield in Brazil

Brazil, India, US and EU Try to Break Doha’s Farm Subsidies Deadlock

Brazilian, Indian, American and European officials are meeting today in India for the first ...