Brazil custody fight

By United Press International  |  Dec. 24, 2009 at 9:59 AM
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Brazil's Supreme Court ordered Sean Goldman reunited with his U.S. father Tuesday, ending a five-year custody battle that had affected U.S.-Brazil trade relations.

The 9-year-old boy's Brazilian grandmother and stepfather took him to the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro where his father David was waiting. They said Sean's wishes were not consulted and he wanted to stay in Brazil, but had decided not to fight the ruling.

Sean's Brazilian mother, Bruna Bianchi, took him to Brazil on vacation in 2004. She did not return, and instead divorced David Goldman and remarried. She died in childbirth in 2008. Sean's stepfather and Bianchi's family wanted the boy to stay with them sparking a bitter international custody battle.

Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the matter with their Brazilian counterparts.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., blocked renewal of a U.S.-Brazil trade bill after a Brazilian appeals court ruling last week giving custody to David Goldman was held up by another court. Lautenberg lifted his hold after Brazil's Supreme Court ruling.

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