Sean Goldman in Brazil

As I understand it, Sean Goldman is a 9-year old boy whose mother took him to Brazil 5 years ago on the pretext of a vacation. While there, she divorced Sean’s father (David Goldman) and married another man. David continues to live with this other man, despite his mother’s death a year ago, and David’s so-far futile efforts to get his son back from a foreign country.

I’d like to hear the other side of the story. The way the American media are presenting it, it is quite obvious that this other man and the Brazilian gov’t are evil kidnappers. There’s gotta be more to the story, but I find nothing in Wikipedia nor in the Straight Dope. Any suggestions where I should look?

There is no more to the story. His adoptive father wants to keep him in the family he’s always known. His biological father wants to raise him himself.

Those are the two sides to the story.

ETA: I’m not sure “adoptive” is the right adjective as I doubt he was ever formally adopted. The point is that he is more familiar with his current family, even though he is biologically unrelated to them. However, this is their fault, as they seem to have put a lot of stress on the kid about visiting his biological father.

You need to understand that, in the media, any time a US citizen is subject to foreign laws, those foreign laws are presumptively evil/unjust/unfair and result in the complete miscarriage of justice for the royally screwed over American.

Just to be fair, this sentence would be equally accurate if you changed a few words, as follows:

You need to understand that, in the media, any time a [Citizen of Country A] is subject to [Laws of Country B], those [Laws of Country B] are presumptively evil/unjust/unfair and result in the complete miscarriage of justice for the royally screwed over [Citizen of Country A].

No, you see, I don’t actually think that’s true.

I do understand that. That’s exactly why I presume that there IS another side to the story, one in which Brazil’s actions make sense.

Personally, I do understand the trauma of taking a child away from the people he has known for the past 4 years. But if they deal with it well, that will go away, and doesn’t compare to the trauma of his father spending the rest of his life without his son. I’d also like to know what’s been going on for the past 5 years, like whether or not the father has been able to visit him, and similar questions.

For all I know, the father is a no-good-nik who had zero interest in the kid until the mother died and now the father wants a hand in the kid’s inheritance from the wealthy mother. Okay, I just made that up. But who knows? That’s why I want ot know more than what the TV can cram into a commercial for the 11 O’Clock News.

Frankly, the modern jurisprudence in this country (don’t know about int’l conventions or Brazillian law) cares not one iota about how it makes the parents feel. It’s all analyzed under the “best interest of the child” standard - you don’t make a comparison to how bad it makes the parent feel.

Yeah, but what’s in the child’s best interests today is not necessarily the same as what would be in his best interests twenty years from now. Short-term and long-term goals are often at odds with each other.

Anyway, to bring this back to GQ… I’m looking for facts. Like whether or not this other guy ever adopted Sean under Brazilian law.

Under the Hague Treaty, it’s called kidnapping.

The US and Brazil are both signatories to the treaty.

Sean’s son was kidnapped.

Roman Polanski begs to differ, from his chalet of course.

More evidence that there’s gotta be more to the story. If it was that open-and-shut, the Brazilian court probably wouldn’t have ruled agaisnt the father.

The kidnapping family has strong monetary and political ties within the Brazilian system. In other words, charges that the they are buying the court decisions. However, the latest decision does not overturn the lower court’s decision the child must be returned to his natural father. It’s another move just to delay the process.

Although biased, why not read directly from the father and supporters —>

Please. I seem to remember quite a bit of support for returning Elian Gonzalez to Cuba and his father.

Why does there “gotta be more to the story”? No evidence has been presented to suggest that David Goldman is anything other than a good father. The Brazilian family doesn’t seem to have any case other than stonewalling and stalling and then claiming that it would be disruptive to remove Sean from the home he’s known for so long … a home that he’s know for so long purely because of their stonewalling and stalling.

Remind me again: The laws of what jurisdiction where used to adjudicate the return of Elian Gonzalez to Cuba?

And I’m sure you’re intimately acquainted with all relevant facts of this case, right?

That’s irrelevant. The point is that his family in America lost out, and most Americans seemed to have been okay with that.

The larger point is that your comment was crass, unimaginative, and added nothing to the discussion.

No, it’s not. Because most Americans have unyielding (or extremely high degrees of) faith in the US judicial system. But once some “foreign” court dares render judgment on one of our own, watch out! US Congressmen will make trips, donation blogs will be set up, and trade sanctions threatened.

Remember post 9-11 when we proposed (and enacted) rules that required the photographing of every foreign visitor to this country? Everyone’s cool with it
Remember the Brazilian government’s reaction? They made all US citizens suffer the same plight as they entered the country. A US airline captain flicked off the camera as he was being photographed (because, how dare they invade **his **civil liberties like that! [brown dudes, that’s cool, invade away]) and was being threatened with prosecution in Brazil. The numbnuts came out of the woodwork here, with the typical “that’s so unfair!” and other chirpings.

Why shouldn’t we have faith in our judicial system? The basic rules and procedures are clear, everyone is familiar with the concept of the burden of proof, and we generally trust in the impartiality and professionalism of our judges.

I don’t know enough about Brazil’s justice system to render any opinion on it, but they have to overcome a very basic objection: why is this boy being kept from his biological father?