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A Father's Love: One Man's Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home Hardcover – May 5, 2011
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“Gut-wrenching . . . a journey of unimaginable heartbreak and loss.” — BookPage
“A riveting tale of an unusual abduction.” — Kirkus Reviews
“One engaging and bittersweet volume.” — New Jersey Monthly
About the Author
David Goldman grew up in Ocean Township, New Jersey, the son of a charter boat captain. A graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College. He runs a charter boat business and does advocacy work on international child abduction. Visit bringseanhome.org
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David Goldman thought that he and his Brazilian wife, Bruna Bianchi, had a good marriage and her departure for Brazil in June 2004 was a planned vacation. Goldman, in fact, drove Bruna, Sean and Bruna's parents to the airport. Needless to say, Goldman was shocked when Bruna telephoned him only two days after she arrived in Brazil to say that she was not returning. She told him that he had to come to Brazil and sign over full custody of Sean to her if he ever wanted to see Sean again.
Goldman took swift legal action to attempt recovery of Sean. He obtained a court order in New Jersey giving him temporary custody and then filed an action under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Parental Abduction seeking Sean's return. In 2004, Brazil had 66 American children who had been kidnapped by a parent. Brazil, although a signatory to the Hague Convention since 2000, had never returned a child to the U.S.
Goldman soon learned that he was up against formidable opponents. When Bruna died in childbirth (having married a Brazilian lawyer despite the fact that she'd never obtained a U.S. divorce), David thought that surely Sean would be returned to him. In fact, Brazil's law in that regard is the same as that in the U.S. The surviving parent's right to custody of the child trumps the rights of any third parties. The legal maneuverings and political connections of the people Goldman calls "the abductors" and "the kidnappers" were extraordinary.
Goldman finally received support in what became an international controversy that eventually reached the highest levels of the U.S. and Brazilian governments. However, this father's unwavering love kept him going despite threats to his life, unbelievable legal fees and other costs for the many fruitless trips to Brazil. He was fortunate to have the assistance of good friends (both new and old) and some pretty amazing people who rallied around and brought political and economic pressure to bear upon Brazil. After Bruna's death, when the ruthlessness of the "second kidnappers" was exposed, many public figures and elected officials helped David obtain the media exposure and legislative assistance that was surely a key part of the solution.
In particular, David was assisted by attorney Patricia Apy of Paras, Apy & Reiss, P.C. in Red Bank, New Jersey and also by attorney Ricardo Zamariola in Brazil. Although I am a family lawyer who has done more than my share of parental abductions, both interstate and international, I am really quite awed by all that these two lawyers, and their partners and assistants, were able to do for David and Sean Goldman. After Bruna died, by the law of both lands, Sean should have been returned to his biological father but he was not. These hard-working and talented lawyers and many elected political figures brought pressure to bear in very persuasive ways to obtain Sean's return to his father and to his homeland / place of habitual residence. Others, State Department Hague Authority and consular personnel, also assisted in many ways. I could list those many important people, but you will learn their identities when you read this wonderful book.
This is an extremely well-written book in which Goldman exposes legal machinations, peculiar ironies, and the compelling emotional elements involved in every step of his journey to bring Sean home. All the while Goldman keeps, as he did throughout the frustrating court appearances in Brazil. in New Jersey appearances and also on national television interviews, a solemn face and refuses to stoop to the level of the Brazilian family. He does not lose his composure.
Goldman continues to help other left-behind parents in their efforts to recover their own abducted children, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to [...], which continues today to focus the Bring Sean Home Foundation's efforts on behalf of abducted children around the world.
Goldman's determination to bring his son Sean home. I could feel the love and anguish when the Brazilian family and court continued to deny him to bring his son home. I was brought to tears when I watched on the news how David Goldman was being treated like he had no rights to his own son,especially when the Brazilizan family told the courts that David had not even paid any child support for his kidnapped son. What was the Brazilian family thinking? I followed this story to the very end when Sean was finally in his father's arms. I cried for him.
I was thrilled to see David had written a book about the ordeal. He is a perfect example of a good father. I pray the two of them have a very happy life together.
May God bless them and keep them safe.