Father sees son as court blocks reunion

June 3, 2009 8:24:03 PM PDT
After a long custody battle, and numerous court rulings, the latest legal setback did not come as a surprise for David Goldman. Time after time, the New Jersey dad has had his share of disappointment.

He did see his son on Wednesday. For about two hours in Brazil, Goldman met with his 9-year-old son, Sean. "It was beautiful. He's my son. It's precious," he told CNN's Larry King.

A permanent reunion between Goldman and his son has been put off by a judge's ruling.

The Brazilian Supreme Court has agreed to hear a claim that Sean would be hurt psychologically if he was allowed to leave brazil.

The decision put on hold any hopes the New Jersey dad had of returning to the U.S. this week with his son.

"His home is with his father in New Jersey," Goldman said.

Rep. Chris Smith agreeds. On the floor of the House of Representatives, he accused the Brazilian government of failing to live up to international treaties on child abduction.

"Because of that a son has been deprived of his father and a father has been deprived of his son. That's unconscionable. Enough is enough, Mr. Speaker. It's long past time to bring Sean Goldman home."

Nearly 5 years ago, David's wife Bruna left for a vacation in Brazil with the young couple's son and never returned.

She got a divorce in Brazil, remarried, and then last year tragically died giving birth to another child.

Against David Goldman's wishes, Sean's step-father won custody of him in a Brazilian court.

Sergio Tostes, a lawyer for the Brazilian family, said the judge that ruled earlier in the week "did not consider that fact that the boy repeatedly told the psychologists that he wanted to remain in Brazil.".

Justice Marco Aurelio, who suspended Sean's return, said in a statement that "I think five years were enough for roots to have been formed" by Sean in Brazil..

Mitch Spero, a psychologist in Florida, donated his time nine years ago to evaluate Elian Gonzalez, a Cuban-born boy who was living with relatives in Miami before President Bill Clinton ordered that he be returned to his father in Cuba..

Spero said that while laws and treaties should be followed, it's also important to consider what's best for the child. Without knowing the specifics of the Goldman case, he said a hasty return to the U.S. might not be the best thing..

"Since his mother passed away, losing contact with the stepfather would be another loss for the child," Spero said. Separating Sean from his baby sister could also be a problem, Spero said..

Spero says that the best approach would be to have a transition of custody..

The case generated protests in the U.S. and prompted the Obama administration to raise the issue with Brazil's president.

But almost a year after the legal wrangling began, David Goldman's struggle to get his son back continues.

There are some indications that the Brazilian Supreme Court will make a decision some time next week. .

Some information from The Associated Press