Battling Brazil: The Fight to Bring a Kidnapped Boy Home

N.J. dad David Goldman devastated that Brazil won't give him custody of his son.

ByABC News via logo
June 4, 2009, 9:22 PM

June 5, 2009 — -- David Goldman can play games with his son. He can jump on a trampoline with his son. But he can not bring his son home.

For the father who has been battling the Brazilian government for nearly five years to bring his kidnapped son back to the U.S., getting back on the plane to New Jersey without Sean early today was devastating especially when he had come so close.

"It's very lonely," Goldman told "Good Morning America" this morning shortly after landing at the Newark Liberty Airport after a judge unexpectedly reversed a decision that had given Goldman custody of his now 9-year-old son.

Sean has been living with his stepfather since the 2008 death of his mother Bruna Bianchi, who took Sean to her native Brazil on vacation in 2004 and never returned. She divorced Goldman while in Brazil and married Joao Paulo Lins e Silva, a Rio de Janeiro lawyer.

Goldman had been awarded custody of Sean last week, but a single judge from Brazil's Supreme Court then suspended a lower court's order that the boy immediately be returned to his father.

"I'm going to keep the fight like I always have," Goldman said. "There's only one choice and that's to keep going until my son comes home."

Goldman blamed resisitence from a small political party in Brazil for the overturned decision. The group, he said, argued that the Hague Convention was unconstitutional in Brazil.

There are 10 other justices on Brazil's Supreme Court. They are expected to rule on the appeal June 10.

While Goldman said he's gotten a number of letters and e-mails of support from Brazilian citizens, he's hoping the government will realize the public relations nightmare this case could cause if Sean is not returned.

"Brazil doesn't want to be known as a place that's going to keep other countries' and other fathers' and other mothers' chldren," he said.

Goldman said he's careful not to share too many details with his son during their visits together. Instead, Goldman said he works diligently to make Sean understand that he never abandoned him, something he says the boy's Brazilian family has told him.