Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Father Gets Custody of Son After Legal Saga in Brazil


A Brazilian-American boy at the center of an international custody battle has returned to the United States, ending a highly-publicized legal saga.

A Brazilian-American boy is back in the United States with his father, closing the book on a highly-publicized legal battle.

Sean Goldman, 9, and his father David landed in Orlando, Florida late Thursday hours after being reunited for the first time in five years.

They met in Rio de Janeiro Thursday, two days after Brazil's Supreme Court ruled the boy's Brazilian family must turn him over to his father.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is "thrilled" that the two were reunited. She also expressed appreciation for the Brazilian government's cooperation.

The drama began in 2004, when Sean's Brazilian-born mother, Bruna Bianchi, took him there for what she said was a vacation.

She never returned to the U.S, divorcing Sean's father and married a prominent Brazilian lawyer. She died in childbirth last year.

Sean's father fought to regain custody of his son, who he says was kidnapped. The boy's Brazilian family battled to keep him with them.

The case created tension in Brazilian-American diplomatic relations. U.S. Congressman Christopher Smith, of David Goldman's home state of New Jersey, went to Brazil to intervene on Goldman's behalf.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, discussed the case when they met at the White House in March.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.