American Girl and Mother Trapped In Brazilian Custody Battle

Mother and daughter went to visit father; stuck in country facing custody trap.
1:56 | 07/05/13

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Transcript for American Girl and Mother Trapped In Brazilian Custody Battle
Now to the case of the american mother and her little girl, they are trapped in brazil tonight. Like so many high profile cases, this involves visitation. The little girl's father lives there. What suddenly happened that's keeping them there? Here's abc's gio benitez. Reporter:6-year-old ava and her mother shauna hadden have been stuck in brazil for more than a month. The mom, who has full custody of ava in massachusetts, says her ex-husband paid for their tickets to visit him in brazil. But she says it was all a trick. Within days of their arrival, he took hadden to court and brazilian authorities came and confiscated their american passports. Hadden says her ex is trying to keep ava in brazil. What are you supposed to get those passports back? I have no time frame. I HAVE NO IDEA. Reporter: Hadden is scared. She started a facebook campaign called "trapped in brazil." I have no documents here, ultimately they could throw me in prison because I'm undocumented in this country. So my thoughts are desperation and fear on a daily basis. Reporter: Now hadden's family here at home, and two members of congress, are fighting to get her and ava back to the u.S. In a similar case, david goldman spent five years fighting to get his son back from brazil where he was taken by his mother. He finally brought sean home in 2009 and is critical of brazil's handling of these cases. They seem to have their own rogue way of doing things, ignoring international custody laws. Reporter: He is very concerned for parents in this kind of situation. The only advice to give a parent in this situation, is don't go. Reporter: In legal limbo, on facebook, hadden writes, "good night america, we sure do miss you, land of the free." And state department officials tell abc news, they're quote, monitoring theicates and communicating with the brazilian foreign ministry. So far, no immediate plans to get mother and daughter out of brazil.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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