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Author Topic: Brazil custody battle hangs in balance  (Read 1086 times)
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Miss Mia
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« on: June 04, 2009, 01:47:35 pm »

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Brazil custody battle hangs in balance
Dad anxiously awaits decision on abducted son: ‘I hope today’s the day’

Brazil’s Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday afternoon on the nearly five-year custody battle between a New Jersey father and the Brazilian family that claims his son as their own. The decision could affect the fates of 50 or more other American children in Brazil involved in similar cases. Meanwhile, a federal lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would suspend trading preferences with Brazil until the country honors a treaty regarding international child abductions.

“I’m not exactly sure what the Supreme Court will rule,” David Goldman told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira Thursday morning from Rio de Janeiro. He said that the court could either order his 9-year-old son, Sean, returned to him immediately; send the case back into the Brazilian court system for further hearings and appeals, or rule that Sean should remain with the Brazilian family that has been fighting to keep him.

Hope on hold
Goldman had gone to Brazil on Monday expecting to regain custody of his son on Wednesday, in accordance with a federal court ruling. But on Tuesday, a minor political party persuaded a single judge on the 11-member Supreme Court to stop the transfer of custody. The party, which is allied with the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, argued that the Hague Treaty — to which Brazil and the United States are signatories, and which upholds Goldman’s parental rights — is not legally enforceable under the Brazilian constitution.

In the wake of that judge’s ruling, Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican of New Jersey, called for trading sanctions against Brazil.

Goldman did get to meet with his son under supervision by Brazilian authorities on Wednesday. He said he was told that Sean was distraught and was taken to see a psychologist Wednesday morning, before the visit.

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