Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baby Emma vs. Sean Goldman

Earlier today, my friend @bullevard (check out his beer blog and food blog) asked what I thought about the Baby Emma saga.


Unmarried couple expecting a child agree that they will decide, together, what they are going to do.

Woman goes into labor, doesn't tell father, goes into hiding, puts baby up for adoption to Mormons in Utah.

Father finds out and immediately starts fighting to get his daughter back.

Draconian Utah adoption laws make it virtually impossible for a single, non-Mormon, out-of-state parent to get an adoption overturned.

One year later, mother is sorry, regrets. Father still fighting. Utah still cock-blocking evryone.

I think, nay, I am certain, that @bullevard was trying to light me up because of my response to the David Goldman case.


David Goldman knowing took his Brazillion wife Bruna and his 4 year old son Sean to the airport for what was to be a 2 week vacation to visit her family in Brazil.

She gets down there, decides she Sean ain't comin' back. She divorces David, gets remarried, gets pregnant and dies in childbirth.

Bruna's family decide to keep Sean in Brazil and have the political connections to make that happen.

A 5 year long custody and child support battle ensues during which David Goldman pays no child supprt and the family in Braxil refuse to grant him access.

Sean is now 9 years old. The only family he has any clear memory of is his mother's family in Brazil. All of his friends and emotional connections are in Brazil.

Along comes this virtual stranger from America wanting to rip Sean away from the only family he has ever known.

THE ISSUE (for me):

As parents, we are obligated to elevate the best interests of our children above our own needs and desires.

I think the father in the Baby Emma case is doing that. His daughter is only a year old. She hasn't had ttime to develop any lasting emotional ties to anyone.

There is still time for him to get his daughter back so that they can form that lasting bond together.

I think he is sacrificing his own needs and wants as a young man and is working in the best interest of his daughter.

The Goldman case was different.

Sean Goldman spent all of his life that he could remember, from the age of 4 to 9 in the custody of his mother's family in Brazil. They loved him and he loved them. He went to school in Brazil for 5 years. Kindergarten through 4th grade. The only friends he had were in Brazil. The only family he had were in Brazil.

David Goldman spent 5 years determined to rip him out of the only loving environment he had ever know so he could be forced to spend time with him, a stranger in a strange land.

I don't think David Goldman was sacrificing his own needs and wants for his child. I think he was putting his own pride and bruised ego above the best interests of his son.

I think if David Goldman cared more about his son than himself, he would have swallowed his pride and worked things out with his ex-wife's family.

He could have gotten routine access to Sean and built a relationship with his son. After some trust and goodwill had been established, he might have been granted partial custody by Brazillion authorities. In time, maybe even full custody, with the Brazillian families blessing.


Midtown Miscreant said...

I think the difference in your opinion on the two cases is obvious, it's your disdain for all things religious. If the guy was trying to get his kid back from a bi racial, uber liberal, lesbian couple, you would be on this guy like stink on a hippy. You were dead wrong on the first case, and while you are right on this one, it's for the wrong reasons.
Just my opinion.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

No use even writing anything more here. Midtown has it nailed.

Bull E. Vard said...

I wasn't trying to "light you up". I was genuinely curious for your opinion because I didn't see much difference between the 2 cases. In fact, what I see is the government standing in the way of 2 different fathers trying to get their own children back with no allegations that the fathers were unfit for fatherhood.

You seem to think if the fathers meet your "smell test" the government should get to decide if they get to have their kids back.

I agree the kid is more sympathetic than Goldman, but in the absence of allegations of abuse or neglect, it shouldn't matter.

Faith said...

And just an FYI, even at age 36, I still have LOADS of memories of my childhood from the ages of appx 1.5 - 4 years. And my dad was a pretty absentee kinda dude at that point in my life. Guarantee you that if I hadn't seen him starting at age 4, I'd wanna see him again. Especially if I'm stuck living with a bunch of extended family members, and non-family members, FFS.

Both of these cases are ridiculous. Those children should be with their parents, dammit.

GB, RN said...

No difference...both fathers hoodwinked out of their children. Barring any charges of abuse/neglect, there is no reason they should not have just as much right to them as the mothers. The same went for Elian Gonzalez.

The whole case is repugnant. Utah Mormons...go figure. They just need to build a fence around the whole damn state.

Dangerousdaisy said...

What if these fathers were the mothers? Would you have a different opinion?

How about the boy that was kidnapped here in MO by some freak and found five years later? Shouldn't he stay with the captor? With your rationale he should.

Your thoughts on the Brazilian case: fucked.

Anonymous said...

You're WRONG.
That is all.

I also think it's because you can relate to having a little girl yourself.. not so much on the boy.

Anonymous said...

any one with half a brain will tell you it is a Mormon thing.
Mormon church controls people's lives and children in Utah.
Utah kidnaps children. Look at Cody O'dea, Shawn McDonald, the criminal duo Scott and Karen Banks who were allowed to adopt a child after being convicted of crimes, and abandoned three adopted children and now baby Emma.