Five years after David Goldman commenced his legal fight for the return of his now nine-year old son Sean, the boy finally returned to the United States for good on Christmas Eve. As reported in today’s Star Ledger, the pair traveled together on a private jet to Orlando, Florida, where they will first vacation together before returning to New Jersey.
In what can only be described as an unbelievable, chaotic scene in Brazil yesterday morning, Sean’s stepfather, grandmother and maternal uncle paraded the boy through the streets leading up to the United States Consulate where David Goldman waited for the exchange to take place. The boy wore a shirt bearing a Brazilian flag and tearfully clutched his stepfather while being mobbed by throngs of reporters trying to catch a picture of the boy in his final emotional moments in the foreign country. Instead of accepting the Consulate’s offer to bring the boy privately inside through an underground garage, the attorney representing Sean’s Brazilian family admitted to staging the horrific spectacle in protest for David’s reported refusal to allow him and the maternal grandmother to accompany them back to the United States. One can only hope that this conduct will be considered by a court should the Brazilian family seek visitation in the future.
As recently reported on this blog, the Brazilian Supreme Court had Ordered Sean’s return to his father, affirming the decision of a lower federal court in a matter that captured the world’s attention and placed great focus on the Hague Convention, which states that children abducted should be returned to their "habitual residence," in Sean’s case, the United States.