A father who experienced a multiple year long fight to regain custody of his son from an international parental child abduction is now fighting to improve the legal structure to do so. David Goldman is advocating for the passage of the International Child Abduction Prevention Act and wants to help resolve thousands of international child custody disputes involving American parents.
It took David Goldman five years to regain custody of his son. Goldman’s fight began in 2004 when his wife took their son to her home country of Brazil for a two week vacation. Instead of being a vacation, the trip was a way for Goldman’s wife to create a new life in her home country. She informed Goldman that she wanted a divorce and that their son would be living in Brazil with her. A Brazilian court granted the couple a divorce. Goldman’s former wife remarried to a well-connected family law attorney and died during childbirth in 2008. A Brazilian court ruled that Goldman’s American born son should remain in the custody of his stepfather in Brazil.
Thankfully, after a multiple year struggle Goldman regained custody of his son but it was not easy. Goldman says the case became an international parental abduction case when his former wife left the United States and failed to return their son. Moreover, Goldman did not give up his parental rights at any time before his former wife’s death.
Before the case was concluded, two U.S. Congressmen helped Goldman with the case. The U.S. Senator that was involved pressed for trade sanctions against Brazil. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pushed the case ahead and made it a priority. In December 2009, the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled in Goldman’s favor and he was reunited with his son. Today, Goldman is advocating for the International Child Abduction Prevention Act and hopes its passage will assist other American parents who endure international parental child abductions.
Source: Berkeleyheights.patch.com, “Father who brought son back from Brazil advocates for new international child custody laws,” John Celock, 5/17/11