Brazilian high court Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes lifted a stay that prevented Sean Goldman from being reunited with his father David Goldman. While the decision makes it possible for the boy to return to the United States, the situation is still up in the air.
The protracted legal battle involves Goldman fighting for custody of his son, and intensified after the recent death of his ex-wife, Carla Bianchi, in childbirth. She had brought Sean to her native Brazil in 2004, ostensibly on a two-week vacation, and never returned, eventually remarrying. The fight for Sean pits Bianchi’s relatives against David Goldman, with multiple court rulings and appeals.
Neither party gives any indication it will stop until all options have been exhausted. After Tuesday’s ruling, Silvana Bianchi, Sean’s grandmother, is expected to file another appeal to the ruling.
Goldamn had recently arrived in Rio de Janeiro to bring Sean home for Christmas, but one Supreme Court justice issued a stay that required Sean to remain with his Brazilian relatives until the high court could consider the case.
CNN reports that in a letter to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Bianchi said that the court is not taking into consideration Sean’s desire to remain in Brazil with his relatives.
Goldman has argued that as the sole surviving parent, he should be have custody of his son and that the family is putting pressure on Sean to remain in Brazil.
The fight has become an international political saga far bigger than a simple custody battle. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who represents Goldman’s home state of New Jersey, recently held up a bill that would have brought $2.75 billion to Brazil in export tariff relief, only lifting the hold after the court’s ruling.