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Brazil Justice Allows US Father to Have Son Back, But He Has to Stay in Rio

Sean Goldman The 16th Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro decided that American David Goldman can live with his 9-year-old son during the week as long as the boy stays in Brazil.  It was a victory of sorts, a decision by the Brazilian justice favoring American David Goldman, who is trying to take to the US his son, Sean Goldman, who was abducted by his own mother from the US to Brazil 5 years ago. 

The mother, Bruna Bianchi, died while giving birth to a daughter last year, but the woman's new husband, a powerful Brazilian lawyer, has been able to prevent Goldman from taking his son home. 

The new decision by Rio's Federal Justice also stipulates that Sean is to spend Sundays with his Brazilian stepfather, João Paulo Lins e Silva.  The boy's Brazilian family lawyer informed, however, that they are going to appeal the decision.

The same judge who issued this last ruling, Rafael Pereira Pinto, had determined earlier that the child be returned to his biological father to be taken to the US, but that order was overruled by the Brazilian Supreme Court, which also refused to deal with the case and sent it back to be decided by Rio's Regional Federal Court (TRF).

Sean is being disputed in the courts by the stepfather, whose family the Lins e Silvas, is a very rich and influential family in Brazil. The previous ruling by judge Pereira Pinto had ordered that the boy be given to the father in 48 hours. The Supreme, however, on intervening has also noted that  there is no doubt that "the minor needs to once again have contact with the father as soon as possible."

Sérgio Tostes, the Lins e Silva's lawyer, informed that he intends to appeal to the Rio's TRF but recognized that the new determination is more suitable to Sean's Brazilian family aspirations.  They want to prevent the boy from suddenly moving to the United States, something that according to the attorney would be a violence against the boy's own wishes.

Said Tostes: "The judge's decision is totally extravagant and shows his acknowledgment that he made a mistake when he ordered a trip in less than 48 hours and compliance to an agreement in that country, out of his jurisdiction. For the family, this is something better, since he will not need to travel to the United States."

Tostes handed out to the Justice, this week, a report prepared by a psychologist hired by Lins e Silva where it's shown that Sean wishes to stay in Brazil. While the document has no juridical value Tostes believes that it might help his case and he encourages David Goldman to get his own psychologist to also hear the boy.

In a tape made by the psychologist and released by Lins e Silva, Sean calls Lins e Silva his father and insists that he wishes to stay in Brazil. The boy also complains that this biological father has skipped some visitations with him.

According to the psychologist Bianca Zacher, general secretary of the Brazilian Society of Juridical Psychology, heard by daily O Estado de S. Paulo, the child's Brazilian family might be adding to the boy's suffering by making him talk again. She says that is important that the boy be heard, but this should be done seldom and with much tact .

"The child," she observes, "relives the traumas every time he exposes himself and needs to tell his story, which is suffering."  She also criticized the interview's publication. "This child has already been overexposed," Zacher argues.

Sean was born in New Jersey and lived there until the age of 4, when his mother, Bruna Bianchi, took him for what should have been a brief vacation to Brazil. Bruna, however, never went back to the US and ended up marrying Lins e Silva. Today, a age 9, the kid lives in Rio with the stepfather, the maternal grandmother and the little sister who was born last year.

Some friends of Goldman in the US believe that the father would have a hard time to leave everything in the United States to go live right now in Brazil to comply with the new ruling. They say that he is very busy in New Jersey where he makes a living organizing fishing boat rides for tourists.

The decision over the return of Sean could take a long time. Rio's Regional Federal Court still hasn't scheduled  hearings to rule on the case.


  • Show Comments (27)

  • NS

    Poor Sean
    I am just sorry for the poor boy, only him seems inocent in this story

  • Dentists in Bradford

    Overall the justice done may be worth enough and add value to the life of both.

  • ghostsouls

    I could not be that patient
    I watched that movie years ago with Sally Fields, Not Without My Daughter…… If I could get the resources, I would sell my house, get a loan, whatever I could, and pay mercenaries if I had to to get him back. The longer this goes on, the harder it will be. Then they can let the step father spend his riches coming to the United States to plead his case. It is not like the father was abusive, he was not, he was loving, to both the child and the child’s mother. What happened most likely was the woman’s parents taking her back to Brazil, and they were not happy with her marrying an American..

  • victoria

    If the stepfather is an honorable man, regardless of his riches, he would have done the right thing
    to begin with when Sean was younger and return this boy to his biological father. It was a kidnapping
    by the mother with her intention all along to keep him in Brazil and have her wealthy father fight
    for her “new husband” to keep him there. For that writer who says “the biological father is a golddigger”–
    shame on you….this is only about who is wealthy (Brazilian STEPFATHER) and has the means to keep
    this boy, who is not his, to save face.
    Become a parent….then perhaps you will understand! As a biological parent, we fight for our children in

  • waldir moreira

    He has his father
    I am Brazilian but I must say that the Brazilian justice made a big mistake. That boy has a parent, his father is alive!

  • Fred

    Appeals will take years
    If every child in the world had this many attorneys, judges, lobbyists, political parties, congresspeople, parent, grandparents, pseudoparents allegedly engaged in seeking the child’s best interests, this world would be a great place to live. Nothing would get done, but the attorneys would get rich, which is what life is all about in “developed” countries.

  • forrest allen brown



  • dnbaiacu

    Im doing well thanks 🙂 Good to hear from you. Just amazed at how there is never a dull moment on the world scene. The Iran election deal is putting that region in another era. It is interesting to watch. In the meantime “health care” is the big distraction issue. As we are realizing the “conditioning” to $3 a gallon for gas here they trained us to accept last year. 🙁
    As far as staying safe and sane? I just thank GOD for the insight on world events otherwise I’d be “um caso para estudo” 😀 😀 😀 😀
    I’m going to check that link out now.. Thanks

  • João da Silva

    [quote]There is really nothing that can be done about the economy but get adjusted to the way things are. The system is on lock down. And people just need to learn to think differently about the material aspect of their lives. If not, you will go crazy from WORRY, ANXIETY, or as you put it “concern”. [/quote]

    You are right!! So is ASP. BUT…..BUT…..if you want to read some words of wisdom, I suggest you visit the following site :


    A great analysis by ch.c on Yuan dominating the world and a nice rebuttal by Tom Llyods. I thought you might enjoy reading them.

    Great to hear from you and hope you are keeping yourself safe and sane.

  • dnbaiacu

    There is really nothing that can be done about the economy but get adjusted to the way things are. The system is on lock down. And people just need to learn to think differently about the material aspect of their lives. If not, you will go crazy from WORRY, ANXIETY, or as you put it “concern”. The issue is ultimately ones perspective. Peace of mind and literal survival is more dependent on the “veracity” of ones spiritual knowledge. It is all about the energy you draw unto yourself. Security in money is becoming more and more a NON ISSUE. So its what’s in your HEAD that counts. We are nearing the climax of a long battle for our minds. Who will usher in World Peace? God or the United Nations.
    Now is the time to choose. 😉

  • Jason Horvat

    This case just plain sucks. I feel Sean is screwed either way. Brazil is a beautiful place with beautiful people, great food, rich culture, and many opportunities, which is why I am moving there myself with my wife and daughter who are Brazilian. I believe Sean would have a better life in Brazil, but he needs to be with his biological dad. I think the Brazilian government should grant him a permanent visa, and award him damages for taking so f***ing long to return him his son, and he can start up a charter fishing business in Brazil!

  • mcv

    written by asp, June 20, 2009 1
    written by meg, June 20, 2009 1
    written by asp, June 20, 2009 2
    written by dnbaiacu, June 20, 2009 1

    I am US Citizen and I think we should watch and not play it!!!It’s Goldman’s and Brazilian family’s game !!!We are in much further mess to be involved in it!!Let’s be concern in to our economy and our currency that’s really matter. Goldman’s should be concern w/ his Brazilian wife so this mess that he got himself into never would be happening. now it is to late!!!he has to deal w/ it. not us!!
    Good lock to everyone!!!Especially to Sean!!

  • dnbaiacu

    This is all silly.. let’s just clear it up
    Fellow American citizens,
    This is a “POST AMERICA” world now. By design.
    The Chineese ignoring the calls to stop manipulating their currency., among other things. Like not giving a hoot about rectifying human rights abuses. Basically doing what they want..
    The Russians and the Georgia incident
    Brazil and the Goldman case
    BRIC is not only economically signifying change BUT symbolizing it as well. A snubbing of passing American dominance. Setting the stage for the New World Order. btw no cause for Brazil to get all excited about.
    Just grab your popcorn people and watch the show. If you want the script. Pick up a copy of the Bible. 🙂 😉

  • asp

    verdade ? aqui nao e cuba
    i hate to burst your bubble but this case isnt pressing enough to do what the usa is doing to cuba and it isnt working there either

    listen to meg

    i hate to tell you all but brazil is talking to china and argentina and other countries to stop doing business in dollars because the dollar is going down and people are loosing confidence in it

    now there is something to get nervous and urgent about. you need to be seriously leaning on your representatives to make the dollar stronger and firm

    of course because of the horrible mess the bush administration led us into, the obama administration has to just print up more money , which exsasperates the situation of the dollar.

    you see america is on the decline now, you better understand that and hope that it can pull out of its descending spiral. we didnt watch the greedy bastards and gave them cart blanche…besides a ridiculas war in iraq

    these things are much more important than the sean case….

    sanctions ? embargo ? man , you all are living in the past

  • A Verdade

    and trade embargo until all american children held illegally in brazil are returned.

    Terra sem lei=brazil.

  • meg

    David Goldman should go to Brazil
    He should try to live there at least for awhile since he will be closer to his son. The longer Sean doesn’t see his Dad, he will forget about David. No doubt he is being brainwashed by his Brazilian family already – the damage is clearly done. Kids love the people who take care of them. Herb Wife – I don’t care for your patronizing tone. You come across like a typical self righteous American. The kind the world can do without. I’m sorry but the kid lives in Brazil now whether you like it or not and David Goldman will have to make a hard choice. Maybe he can live part of the year there and part in NJ, but at least he will see his son. At this point, he’s not holding the cards. The Brazilians will play this bullshit as long as it takes. By the time it’s over, Sean will be in college. At that point, it won’t matter.

  • asp

    herb wife….get for real…
    the usa government is not going to do what you want and the usa isnt going to invade rio to get sean back. get for real, come down to reality and how its really playing out here, no one needs this shrill , nervous , fear monging dreck

    david goldman is going to play this out the only way he can , with in this bizzarre merry go round of legal shmegal bearocracy .

    you need to understand that sean will go through his own mental changes about this. and , if you have kids , you know that they can change radicaly from their early years to their middle years and into adolecance. if he has to go back to the usa against his will, he may resent and rebel in an enormas way against his father. but, if he is kept in brazil, he will eventualy really want to get to know his father and rebel against the de silvas if they prevent him from doing so. time is on david goldman’s side if he can muster a little more patience

    and comments about what the usa should do to brazil are ridiculas if you are not deeply inside this case. and the tone of some people is going to just anger other people against your cause.you ought to get that, some people just soune ridiculas and are hurting your cause

  • leelee

    ? You have a small mind and usually that means small other things there is no way u could show me a good time tiny

  • Herb Wife

    Kidnapping is illegal in all countries
    I am writing this as a Mom and US citizen.
    I am saddened by the tragic story of Mr. David Goldman and
    his five year fight to get his abducted son home. But I am outraged that our government has not forced his return.
    I openly ask all congressmen/women to support and enforce HS 2702.
    Sanction Brazil till they return Sean and the other AMERICAN children being harbored in their country!
    I hope all moms and dads in the USA understand that if we do not ensure the compliance of Brazil all our children are at risk.
    Sean Goldman has ONE living parent!
    Sean Goldman is an AMERICAN !
    Sean Goldman is nine years old !
    David Goldman is his father, the ONLY living parent, and an AMERICAN citizen!
    America your children can be kidnapped and held in Brazil indefinitely with NO consequences !

  • xuxoo

    Sean must stay in Brazil with his family
    Forrest and Rronnie, I don’t do gaymen like you.

    Leelee, comne on up and i will show you a good time.

    My opinion has not and will not change, David Goldman is a “gold” digger. The name fits him.

    xuxo (xuxo@comelikmyballs.com)

  • asp

    lashing out at brazil will get no where
    …and it sounds dumb.

    an american women just killed her brazilian husband in the barra, an american women was found dead in florianopolis , there are all kinds of things going on in brazil to americans more heavy duty than this case…

    there are many countries where americans can go and how they want to do things or how it fits there sence of justice , wont matter

    contracts , treaties , agreements are all meant to be broken, ive seen enough contracts broken in my life to not have expectations in them

    goldman has paid a lot of money to lawyers that havent gotten him what he wants.i would have gone to brazil to be close to my kid and gotten them to invest in my living needs for not processing them.

    people are making a lot of dumb comments from a far distance, you dont know these people up close or what is going on behind closed doors.

    i think american people who get overly wrapped up in emotion about this case who arnt close to it are in need of venting their anger at the last administration and the financial goons that have wrecked absolute havoc on our american lives.

    its hard for me to get steamed up about this case , although i surly want goldman to be with his kid , especialy in nationalistic terms of putting down other countries when america is a sick puppy now, that has poisoned so many people around the world with this recent finacial bs

  • Kevin

    The father should just get the kid, and then skip back to the US like the mother did to Brazil.

    Once the kid gets to the US it will be harder than hell to order him back to that monkey’s armpit of a country.

  • Rronnie

    I still say the United States should invade this backwards country and take the kid by force.You morons better hope you never come to the takes because you won’t get your kids back.

  • leelee

    Damaged Goods
    After the video statements it will be difficult for the boy to ever live with his biological father. His Brazillian family ought to be ashamed. He will not forgive any of them for this. The father should stay in Brazil to help the boy tranistion but I think it is already too late. Why wouldn’t the mother prior to her death work out a way that the boy should see his father. Why would her parents put up with their daughter mistreating their grandson by not allowing him to have a relationship with a loving father. I think it is too late now for the boy. He is all alone and all of his family the USA family and the Brasil family are tearing him apart. Shame on you all! God Bless Sean

  • forrest allen brown



    his dad doing your balls or are you doing his ,( i think you do his )

    there is a family services center in the state department william hawk is over brasil david should contact him and the red cross

  • xuxo

    I agree
    The boy belongs with his new dad, the brazilian dad.

    xuxo (xuxo@comelikmyballs.com)

  • Tamara

    Shame on all of the people who are keeping this boy away from his father! If was a person who had alot of money I would finance David to live in Brazil but this should’ve never happened! Since our USA government is not getting the boy back under the Hague convention then the USA embassy should let David and Sean live there free of charge! Shame on you all, you shame the courts, you shame the Brazillian people and culture, you shame God with your actions!

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