A while back I wrote about David Goldman, the New Jersey father who literally went to the ends of the earth to bring back his son Sean. I just finished reading his book ' A Father's Love' which talks about the hell he went through to get his boy Sean back. At the end I was in tears.
David got his boy home, but did you know that there are over 3000 American children that have been abducted by one of their parents and taken to foreign countries? I was shocked! How can this happen?
I became interested in the Goldman case because I too was married to a Brazilian and the ruling in the Goldman case could have trickled down and affected my custody situation with my children. Luckily my ex husband gave me permission to come back to Canada with our children because he is savvy enough to know that Canada is a much better place to raise children. They go back and visit their dad every year, but I am always attentive to the fact that he could change his mind and not let them come back to Canada. In Brazil they say 'um pe atras' which means to have one foot behind or to be cautious. If that was to happen, I would probably find myself in David Goldman's situation.
The Hague Convention was completely ignored and treated with contempt by the Ribeiro/Lins e Silva clan in Brazil. They tried every legal manoeuvre possible to attack and basically wear David Goldman down. He never gave up. Here was this simple down to earth dad from New Jersey, just trying to bring his son home from Brazil after the mother of the boy died during childbirth. The step family (Lins e Silva) and the grandparents (Ribeiro) became the abductors and their actions were deplorable.
Not only was this a David vs Goliath scenario, it was also the beginning of the end of the cronyism that has plagued Brazil for centuries. The Lins e Silva family are a very influential family of lawyers in Brazil that specialize in family law. Their tentacles reach the inner sanctums of the courts in Brazil. The irony of it all is that the head of the 'family' was one of the authors of a report for the Hague convention showing how child abduction can cause parental alienation. SERIOUSLY!
David Goldman's fight is far from over. He is committed to bring back all of the children who have been abducted and absconded by one of their parents and taken to a foreign country. A new bill is being passed in the USA based on Sean's abduction and David's fight to bring Sean home.
I ask that Canada become more pro active in this too. There are many intercultural marriages that could result in divorce and many children could be abducted to other countries that are a lot worse than Brazil (such as Middle Eastern countries where women have no rights).We need to secure our borders so that children are protected from this. I need permission to travel with my boys when I leave Brazil, but there is no system in place at border crossings here in Canada. Why is that?