The Brazilian Supreme Court has ruled that a nine-year-old boy who has been the subject of an international custody dispute must be returned to his American father.
Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes ruled Tuesday in favor of David Goldman, who has been trying to regain custody of his son, Sean, for five years.
U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, from Goldman's home state of New Jersey, says the development is "encouraging" although it is not yet known when the boy will return to the United States.
In 2004, David Goldman's wife, Bruna Bianchi, took the child to her native Brazil for what she said was a vacation. She divorced Goldman while in Brazil and married a prominent lawyer. She died in childbirth last year, and Sean's stepfather refused to hand him over to his biological father.
Goldman flew to Brazil last week to press his legal appeals for custody.
The case reached the highest levels of the U.S. government during a private meeting at the White House in March between President Barack Obama and his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also lobbied for the boy's return to the United States.
Congressman Smith, a Republican, had called for the suspension of Brazil's trade preferences until the international custody battle was resolved.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.