Friday, March 13, 2009

A father should be with his son

Here is what I know about this case, an American man, David Goldman, married a Brazilian woman named Bruna and they had a son named Sean. Bruna took Sean with her to Brazil, divorced David, and married a Brazilian lawyer. While having birth with the lawyer's child, Bruna died. David sought to retain custody of Sean, but the lawyer used the Brazilian court system to his advantage and kept Sean in Brazil.

Here is the problem, the Geneva Convention Accords says that the actions of the Brazilian lawyer are a violation of international law. Following a basic precept, the child should be with his surviving biological parent. So the question that needs to be asked is does Brazil want to jeopardize relations with the United States over a child custody case, in which the Hague will rule in favor of David Goldman?

Apparently, the Brazilian lawyer does not care about that. After a U.S. Congressman intervened and Secretary of State Clinton has actively taken an interest in this case, the lawyer has hired an attorney to fight this case. Now President Obama will meet with the President of Brazil on this matter, as well as other matters, in a scheduled visit.

Now that Brazilian lawyer may have manipulated David Goldman's ex-wife and his country's legal system, but he is in deep water now. To strain the future relations of his country with the U.S. is not worth his selfish interests. Even if there was no clear legal standard, a moral decency should take hold. The child should be with his biological father, period, end of discussion.

Goldman warned viewers of the Today Show that some ugly things may come out about him and he is willing to take them on. That sounds like the lawyer's team of attorneys will try their best to paint a picture of Goldman that will present him as an unfit parent. If I was Goldman I wouldn't worry about it, considering the circumstances as to how that Brazilian lawyer gained custody of Sean in the first place.

The manipulator in this situation is the lawyer, not the father. Goldman has been fighting this battle for four years, it is time the odds swung in his favor. David Goldman is the father of Sean Goldman, therefore Sean should be home with his dad. If I was in that situation with my Sean, I would do exactly what he is doing, fighting for what is my blessing from God.

I remember growing up in Chicago, there was a case where a young Russian boy wanted to defect to the United States to live with his sister, who had become a U.S. citizen. This was during the Cold War and my sensibilities were a long way from parenthood. I guess I was secretly wishing that I could emancipate myself from my parents, especially my father at the time, but that is another tale for another day.

I made my argument to my father that this boy was seeking the freedom he desired and could not get in an oppressive Soviet Union. After I made my case, my father simply replied, "A father needs to be with his son." That was it. What I thought was terse then is now so profound. Political boundaries and ideologies should never separate a child from his parents, for no matter what one may think about another nation-state, the love a father has for his child has no boundaries or ideology.

It is my hope that when the President of Brazil shows up in Washington, DC to visit the President of the United States, he has an announcement as to when Sean Goldman will be where he rightfully belongs, with his father.