Video: Brazilian family reportedly agrees to give up boy

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    >>> the latest on that american father and son story that's been playing out in brazil. david goldman is said to be just hours away from a reunion with his son after a custody battle that has lasted for years. our own jeff rossen is in rio following this story. joins us with the latest on it. good evening, jeff.

    >> reporter: brian, good evening to you from brazil. just a short time ago nbc news confirmed there will be a reunion between david goldman and his 9-year-old son sean goldman in less than 12 hours. a christmas eve reunion. david goldman couldn't have planned it any better. david goldman has been fighting five years to get his son back. according to a press release from the consulate a short time ago, the brazilian family will drop sean off at the u.s. consulate here in rio tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m . rio time, 6:00 a.m . eastern. from there david goldman will take custody of his son, and then he is free to travel with him back to the united states , back to new jersey where they used to live, and they will live once again. a little back story here. back in 2004 , david 's wife left him, brought their son sean here to brazil, divorced david here, got remarried, got pregnant and died during childbirth. david is the only living parent and the supreme court ruled david should get full custody of his son and they belong in the u.s. that reunion happening in the next 12 hours, negotiated and agreed to by both sides.

    >> jeff rossen , thanks for that

updated 12/23/2009 7:34:40 PM ET 2009-12-24T00:34:40

A Brazilian family has decided to end its legal fight for custody of a 9-year-old boy and will obey a court order to turn him over to his U.S. father, an aide to the family's lawyer said Wednesday.

"It is certain the family will not pursue any more legal channels," the aide to lawyer Sergio Tostes said, speaking on condition of anonymity because she wasn't authorized to discuss the matter.

Tostes, reached by telephone, referred inquiries to his office.

The decision ends a five-year legal fight by David Goldman to regain custody of his son, Sean.

Earlier Wednesday, a federal court in Rio ordered the family to relinquish Sean to Goldman by 9 a.m. Thursday.

'No more delays'
U.S. Republican Rep. Chris Smith, of New Jersey, in Brazil to support Goldman, said Goldman's lawyers believe Brazil's federal police are authorized to physically remove the child from the family if it does not meet the court deadline. He also said the international police agency Interpol had been notified to make sure Sean was not flown out of Brazil.

"David and his team are encouraged that the nightmare is coming to an end," Smith said. "No more delays. It's time to do this."

Neither Goldman nor the Brazilian family commented immediately.

Goldman, of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, won a big legal victory late Tuesday when Brazil's chief justice upheld a lower court's ruling that ordered Sean returned to him. Sean has lived in Brazil since Goldman's ex-wife took him to her native country in 2004. Last year she died in childbirth.

Since he landed in Brazil last week, Goldman has repeatedly said that until he and Sean are on a plane and it is heading toward the U.S., he will not let his guard down.

"When? When? When will Sean and I be able to go home, father and son?" Goldman asked in an interview aired Wednesday morning on the U.S. television network NBC.

International drama
Both the U.S. and Brazilian governments have said the matter clearly fell under the Hague Convention, which seeks to ensure that custody decisions are made by the courts in the country where a child originally lived — in this case, the United States.

But Christopher Schmidt, a St. Louis-based attorney with Bryan Cave LLP, said the Brazil court system utterly failed in this case.

"The critical lesson from this tragic story is to not permit these child abduction cases to spiral into protracted custody disputes, as happened in Brazil," he said. "While Brazil finally made the right decision, Brazil breached its fundamental obligation to decide the abduction case expeditiously."

Silvana Bianchi, Sean's maternal grandmother, wrote an open letter to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva just hours before the Tuesday ruling, in which she said cultural differences and international pressure were driving the case.

"Our moral foundation values the mother's role. In the absence of the mother, the raising should be done by the grandmother," she wrote. "That's how it's done in Brazil, from north to south, regardless of race, religion or social class. It's natural that foreigners, with a different foundation, would not understand these authentically Brazilian feelings."

Meanwhile, Goldman has said his parents and other relatives have been waiting for years to be reunited with Sean.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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