- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452297915
- ASIN: B00C01HY42
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,315,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Father's Love: One Man's Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home Paperback – Bargain Price, April 24, 2012
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Two days after they arrived in Brazil, Bruna called David demanding a divorce and gave him news no father wants to hear.....she was keeping his son. Thus, begins a hellish legal battle that almost emotionally and financially break David. He immediately began fighting for his son under the Hague treaty which dictates parental rights in international abduction cases. The foes he's fighting against have more money, resources, and power than him. It's a David vs Goliath sized fight....
Unbeknownst to David, Bruna had obtained a Brazilian divorce and married a Brazilian lawyer whose family was wealthy and well connected in Brazil. Bruna's parents were wealthy as well and used everything at their disposal to deny David access to his son. They refused David visitation...hung up on him when he called....and told Sean hurtful lies about his father.
Amazingly enough, Bruna became pregnant from her new husband and died in childbirth. I couldn't help but see the irony in this. Bruna callously deprived her son of a relationship with his loving father.....then she dies in childbirth and her infant daughter is left without a loving mother. One would think this would be the end of the story.....David should definitely get Sean back now, right? Wrong!! Sean's stepfather claims that he is Sean's father now and petitions the court's in Brazil for custody of Sean. Unbelievably, the court's grant him custody.
David refuses to give up the fight. This book details his 5 1/2 year fight for his son....against the stepfather, maternal grandparents, and the corrupt Brazilian court system. His anguish and pain is palpable. He encounters resistance every step of the way. The emotional and financial costs add up.....Yet he desperately clings to hope....and in the end....a father's love triumphs!!!!! Once again.....a David beats the Goliath he faces in his own life!!!
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.