N.J. mom step closer to reunion after Obama signs law about international child abduction


August 9 , 2014

Source: nj.com

The last time Bindu Philips saw her twin boys was in 2012 when she traveled to India for a mediation hearing — but only for a few minutes. For nearly six years, she has been embroiled in an international custody battle with her now ex-husband over their boys, now 13.

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Her ordeal could come to an end soon after President Obama signed into law Friday legislation that authorizes the State Department to take increasingly forceful measures against any country that does not help return an American child illegally held there.

“I’m longing to see my children,” the Plainsboro mom, 43, said today. “I really hope I will be reunited with them soon.”

The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act is inspired by a Tinton Falls father whose son was kept in Brazil by his wife and her parents for more than five years.

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“The Goldman Act works to right the terrible wrong of international child abduction, end the enormous pain and suffering endured by separated children and parents and force the federal government to act to bring abducted children home,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.), who sponsored the bill. “Left-behind parents will now have tangible support and backing from their federal government.”

Philips’ ex-husband, Sunil Jacob, took the family on a sudden vacation to India in December 2008. He separated the children from her and kept them from seeing her parents. After three weeks, he enrolled them in a school without her knowledge. The principal let her talk with them twice a week, but when Jacob learned of this, he transferred them to another school.

She returned home to the U.S. after a few months and has continued to fight for them ever since. He denies her all contact; efforts to send them messages and motherly advice via a website were shut down by an Indian court order.

“The abductor plans everything so well that the left-behind parent really gets taken by surprise,” Philips said, who fears that Jacob has brainwashed her sons into thinking that she abandoned them. “They make the children turn against a parent who really loves them.”

The thought that she could finally be reunited with them gives her a renewed energy to face each day.

 

 

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In International Child Abduction Cases – quiet diplomacy is not working


December 29, 2013

Source:  Washington Post

SEAN GOLDMAN was 4 years old when his Brazilian-born mother took him from their New Jersey home for what Sean’s father, David Goldman, thought would be a two-week vacation. Five years passed before the father again laid eyes on his son.

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“It was very painful,’’ David Goldman recalled. “The first time I saw him after nearly five years, he looked at me and asked me where have I been all this time. . . . He was told that I didn’t love him, that I abandoned him, that I never wanted him.”

The only unusual feature of this story is that David Goldman eventually regained custody, though even after the boy’s mother died in 2008 her Brazilian family continued to resist his efforts. He succeeded in part because Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)relentlessly focused attention and pressure on the case. Now a bill written by Mr. Smith, the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, has been approved by the House, 398 to 0, and is set for consideration in the Senate. But the State Department doesn’t want the additional diplomatic tools the bill would provide.

According to State, 1,144 children were reported abducted from the United States in 2012. There were 1,367 in 2011 and 1,492 in 2010. State Department officials say they work hard to get those children back — or at least to get the cases fairly adjudicated — but they can’t or won’t say how many of those abducted children remain overseas. That raises questions about their claims for success for “quiet diplomacy.”

In a letter to Mr. Smith, Robert E. Wallace, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), said the abduction of children by a separated spouse is a particular problem for service members, especially in Japan. Mr. Wallace said the service members’ appeals for help “are too often met with bad legal advice, misinformation or indifference. . . . It is time for the U.S. government to take concrete action.” An organization of victimized parents said that the result of quiet diplomacy is “that the Government of Japan has not once assisted in returning a single abducted child.” Japan at least is in the process of acceding to an international treaty on the subject; most countries have not done so.

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The House bill provides for a series of graduated sanctions against countries that demonstrate a pattern of non-cooperation; it also would encourage the United States to negotiate agreements with countries that have not ratified the treaty. In both cases, the executive branch would act only if it chose to do so; the bill provides for a presidential waiver. Nonetheless, a State Department official told us putting tools in the tool kit would be counterproductive because U.S. officials would face pressure to use them and other countries would resent the implied threat.

Given the administration’s inability to quantify its success, or to report any results at all, the argument for the status quo is not persuasive. An aide to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told us that the committee will take the measure up soon. We hope soon means soon. For thousands of parents deprived of the chance even to communicate with their children, quiet diplomacy isn’t getting the job done.

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Boy abducted in Qatar sends ‘get me home’ plea to David Cameron


August 12, 2012

Source: The Guardian

Adam Jones

Adam Jones says he has been kept under virtual house arrest.

A British schoolboy who was allegedly abducted in Qatar nearly three years ago has appealed to David Cameron to help reunite him with his mother.

Adam Jones was separated from his British mother while visiting his dead father’s relatives in the Qatari capital Doha in October 2009. Since then the 13-year-old says he has been kept under virtual house arrest despite attempts by his mother, Rebecca Jones, to free him.

Adam also claims he has been punched and kicked by family relatives. He says he is not allowed out alone, has no internet access and is unable to call his mother. Cameron has written to his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, and the Arab state’s emir to demand that “Adam’s voice is heard” and that the case is “speedily resolved”.

In a recent letter to Adam, the prime minister pledges that he will personally keep urging the Qatari royal family to ensure that his wish to return to his mother will be granted. Cameron states: “I was very sorry to read that you are still separated from your mum. This must be very hard for you, but I want you to know that you are still in my thoughts. I will keep trying as hard as I can to help you, and I hope your family situation will change for the better very soon.”

In a handwritten addendum, Cameron states: “I promise I have not forgotten about you – and will keep trying to make some progress.”

His letter followed a plea from Adam, who 11 months earlier had turned to him in desperation. Dated 25 April 2012, Adam states: “It is nearly one year since I wrote to you asking for your help. I was so happy when you wrote back and told me you would do your best to help me get home. Did you forget about me?

“I want to go home now and I’m very sad and lonely.”

Adam reveals that he has also asked for Prince Charles’s intervention because “nothing has happened and I think no one cares about me”.

The alleged abduction of Adam is a continuing focus of diplomacy between Britain and the Arab state, his case having being raised personally by the Queen during a meeting with Thani. The Foreign Office’s child abduction section is also involved, with a spokesman saying it recognised the “enormous distress faced by Rebecca Jones in being separated from her son and we sincerely hope she is reunited with him soon”.

Yet Thani’s written response to Cameron states only that he will try “to find an amicable solution that preserves the rights of all parties involved”.

Jones said her son was effectively a prisoner at the high-walled, gated home of his Qatari relatives and was forbidden to visit friends. Even at school, the 45-year-old from Sheffield claimed, Adam was escorted between classrooms and held in a room after lessons to be picked up by relatives.

The ordeal began after she and Adam were invited to visit the parents of her late ex-husband on 3 October 2009. Rebecca was separated from Adam’s Qatari father Jamal, who died in a motorbike accident in 2005, but stayed in contact with his family to allow them access to Adam.

On the morning they were due to return to Bahrain, where Jones had taken a teaching job, she said she received a call asking if Adam could visit his sick grandmother. She agreed and a driver picked up Adam. Shortly after, his uncle, Fahad al-Mudhaki, rang and asked to meet her to discuss dividing up the proceeds of land belonging to Adam’s father. Although the documents were in Arabic, Jones says she trusted Mudhaki’s explanation that they comprised paperwork designed to safeguard Adam’s inheritance and signed them. “I just wanted to go home with my son and was not interested in the lands or money my son had been left by his father. It did not occur to me what would happen.”

The documents were to be used to kickstart the Mudhakis’ custody claim against her. Within minutes of signing, Jones says she realised she had been duped. She alleges that her husband’s relatives told her that she had been deliberately deceived: “I’ll never forget what Adam’s uncle Fahad told me: ‘I have lied to you and tricked you, Jamal did not take your son but I will’.”

The Mudhakis had made a court order in 2008 to win custody of Adam, confirming to her the abduction was premeditated. A custody hearing was already arranged for 13 October, days after the alleged kidnapping. “I felt sick to the stomach to realise that I had fallen easily into their trap.”

Adam, then 10, has been separated from his mother ever since, despite a series of custody appeals and Jones’s offer to waive Adam’s inheritance. A subsequent hearing ruled that Jones, who also has a four-year-old daughter Alex, is allowed to visit Adam twice weekly, but never unsupervised.

She says the teenager is increasingly depressed. Since being taken, Adam has seen his sister twice, while the Mudhakis refuse to let Adam’s British grandmother, 74, visit him.

“For the last three years Alex won’t sleep in her own bed,” said Jones, “she’s scared somebody is going to take her.”

Fahad Mudhaki is a senior police officer, a fact which Rebecca believes he has used against her. During her first visit to see Adam, eight weeks after he was taken, she said that 15 armed police officers surrounded the Mudhaki house and Jones was flanked by officers throughout their meeting. She says she has suffered a constant campaign of intimidation, sometimes receiving up to 20 calls a day from police, and each time she enters Qatar to visit Adam is terrified that she might be arrested.

A document from the British embassy in Doha states “the child was kidnapped by his uncle Mr Fahad Juma Abdullah al-Mudhaki, a Qatari police officer”.

Jones said: “I’ve been terrorised and treated as a criminal. We are still suffering every day without our little boy. The pain has not gotten easier as time has passed because I cannot accept what has happened.”

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Ireland / Malaysia – Mother’s fears over custody battle


Source: UTV News

A Co Tyrone mother whose child is trapped in an in international custody battle has told UTV she fears she will never see her son again.

Tracey McCay’s six-year-old son Sean was taken to Singapore last week by his father David.

The couple split acrimoniously while holidaying in Indonesia, but when Tracey returned to Singapore she realised the terms under which she had entered the country meant she had little or no parental rights.

See the Video here: UTV News

“I was in a foreign country. I had no friends, no family. I was really scared and I just felt I should have done my research,” she said.

“What people don’t realise is that obviously although you’re residents of a foreign country you’re not entitled to the same laws as what you’re used to back home.”

After a month battling her former partner, Tracey saw her son and she said her little boy was “confused and excited” at the same time.

“Once he saw me he just went ‘Mummy!’. He was just so excited to see me and I was so excited to see him and I just had to hold back tears,” she explained, “but it was just really nice and we just cuddled and kissed and just stuff like that, and he said ‘Mummy, I really miss you and where have you been?'”

“I’ve never been away from him for that long. I’ve always been with him and then Sean left and not knowing when I would see him again.”

Tracey began custody proceedings in Northern Ireland when she returned home and although Sean was in the region for Christmas he was taken away again by two police officers on Christmas Eve after the Lord Chief Justice ruled against Tracey because of the ongoing legal issues in Singapore.

She said it “broke [her] heart” when she had to give him back before Christmas Day.

“We kissed and we cuddled. It was just really, really nice. But when the police came I had to make it nice for Sean. I didn’t want him to be scared and when he was getting into the police car I was just saying goodbye to him and cuddling him.”

Although Sean has been taken back to Singapore by his father, Tracey said she will fight on for her rights as a mother.

“I have to go back to Singapore and fight in Singapore. And then I’ve been told by my lawyer in Singapore that I have to fight over here. So I’m left with no options at all where to fight.”

She told UTV her greatest fear is “that I’ll never see Sean again”.

The solicitor acting for Sean’s father, David McCay, issued a statement which reads:

“The Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland returned the child to our client’s care and custody on Christmas Eve.

“As arranged our client and the child returned to Singapore on the 28th December. As the parents and child reside in Singapore, all issues we understand are being dealt with there.

“Our client strongly refutes any suggestion he has acted improperly.”

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Irish mother faces International battle


Source: Strabane Chronicle

A STRABANE woman locked in a bitter international custody battle says she fears she may never see her son again.

Tracey McCay’s incredible story came to a head on Christmas Eve when a Belfast Court ordered her to hand her six-year-old son Sean over to her husband.
Husband David has since returned to their adopted home of Singapore with Sean, leaving Tracey practically penniless and homeless.
The 37-year-old told the Strabane Chronicle this week that she now fears she may never see her son again.
Tracey says her nightmare began ten weeks ago while she and her accountant husband David were holidaying in Indonesia.
Following a bust-up on the island of Batam, Tracey claims she awoke to find her husband had fled with her son, taking with him her passport and travel documents.

After contacting the immigration authorities, Tracey eventually managed to get back to Singapore where she contacted her solicitor.
Because she has only lived in Asia since May and her Visa rights depend heavily on her husband’s job, she was advised to return to Northern Ireland and fight for custody here.
On December 22 the estranged couple came face to face for a custody hearing in Belfast.
Tracey won her battle only to have it over-turned on appeal two days later.
On Christmas Eve she broke down in tears in court as Sean was taken from her and handed over to her husband. The father and son have since returned to Singapore.
Speaking from a women’s refuge in Belfast, Tracey appealed for help from anyone with knowledge of international law.

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Parental Child Abduction to Brazil – A Father`s Love


Source: USA Today For five long years, when friends and strangers pressed him for news about his son, Sean, David Goldman had precious little to offer.
Sean, who was abducted by his mother as a 4-year-old, remained in Brazil, and Goldman’s efforts to get him back — or even see him — were being thwarted at every turn.

Today, Goldman is brimming with updates. Sean, who turns 11 in a few weeks, is loving Little League, is doing well in the fifth grade, recently hooked an 8-pound trout, and, on a whim, had his mop of sandy hair buzzed short during a sleepover at a friend’s house — something he now regrets, incidentally, according to his dad.

After the extraordinary drama surrounding their protracted separation, Goldman, 44, of Tinton Falls, N.J., is relishing the ordinariness of their life together — whether it’s shooting hoops in the driveway, helping with homework, or having a little father-and-son chat about why dumping Goldfish crackers in a schoolmate’s chocolate milk isn’t such a hot idea.

“I’m just so, so thankful that we’re back together, and that he’s really thriving,” Goldman said during a recent interview. “He can be a 10-year-old boy again. It’s beautiful.”

More than 16 months have passed since their climactic Christmas Eve flight home from Rio de Janeiro. The two have used that time to “”heal, adjust and bond,” Goldman said.

The adjustment process has been smooth, he said. Sean still meets with a therapist, but to see Sean playing video games with his friends and interacting with his father, one could scarcely guess it’s the same boy who was at the center of a wrenching, international tug-of-war.

No longer a “dead man walking,” as he describes himself during his son’s absence, Goldman is back to work as a charter boat captain and doing modeling jobs again, and he’s in a close relationship with a woman he met whom he identifies only as “Wendy” while Sean was in Brazil.

Goldman has kept a low profile since his return with Sean. But with the recent publication of his book, A Father’s Love: One Man’s Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home (Viking, $26.95), he’s talking publicly again about his ordeal. Last night, he appeared on Dateline NBC, the same program that helped make him an international celebrity in 2008, four years into what until then had been a lonely, uphill battle to get his son back.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Bring Sean Home Foundation, a grassroots organization that rallied around his cause. The group focuses on raising awareness about the plight of some 3,000 other American children living abroad who have been abducted by a parent or relative. There are more than 60 such children still in Brazil, in defiance of U.S. and international law, Goldman said.

“We need to do something,” he said, pointing to federal legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., who was instrumental in securing Sean’s return, that calls for tougher penalties on noncompliant countries and a special ambassador-at-large to focus on abduction cases.

‘Where have you been?’

Goldman collaborated on A Father’s Love with author Ken Abraham. The first-person account fills in the intimate details of a storyline that’s broadly familiar to millions worldwide.

It begins with his seemingly idyllic marriage to a beautiful Brazilian fashion student named Bruna Bianchi Carneiro Ribeiro in 1999. The couple, who met while Goldman was modeling in Milan, Italy, settled in Tinton Falls, N.J. Their first child, Sean, was born the following year. His birthday, May 25, would have ironic significance later, when Goldman learned that President Ronald Reagan had proclaimed that date in 1983 as National Missing Children’s Day.

The couple appeared to enjoy a happy life together. They socialized often with Bruna’s parents, Raimundo and Silvana Ribeiro, who purchased a vacation condominium nearby.

On June 16, 2004, everything changed. That was the day Goldman drove his wife and son to Newark Liberty International Airport and waved good-bye to his family as they boarded a flight to Brazil for what he thought was a two-week vacation with relatives and friends.

A few days later, Goldman says, Bruna called to say she was filing for a divorce in Brazil and warned him that if he didn’t agree to her terms immediately, he’d never see his son again.

What followed was an agonizing, five-year battle with a confounding Brazilian legal system that refused to acknowledge the illegality of Sean’s abduction, or recognize Goldman’s parental rights. Even after Bruna’s death in 2008 from complications during childbirth, Brazilian courts allowed Sean to remain in the custody of his maternal grandparents and the man Bruna had remarried, attorney Joo Paulo Lins e Silva, who is from one of Brazil’s most politically influential families and the son of an authority on international parental child abduction law.

It wasn’t until Feb. 9, 2009, that a judge finally agreed to let Goldman visit his son. By that time, Goldman had made fruitless trips to Brazil, and had had countless cards and phone calls to Sean turned aside by the Ribeiro and Lins e Silva families. He had also garnered the support of several key allies, including Smith, who accompanied him to Brazil numerous times, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, who would later hold up a multibillion-dollar trade bill to turn up the heat on the Brazilian government, and a former assistant U.S. secretary of state named Bernard Aronson, who worked to lobbySecretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama to take an active role in the case.

Sean knew none of this, Goldman said. Instead, he said, he was told by those he loved and trusted that his father was a deadbeat who wanted nothing to do with him.

Every day a ‘miracle’

Goldman said he’d prefer that Sean not read the book until he’s older, though they’ve talked about what happened in Brazil.

“When he came back, he had been told horrible things about us. That was a big conflict for him,” Goldman said. “He saw that we didn’t live in a shack, that our country wasn’t a horrible place.”

One aspect of Goldman’s ordeal that may be a surprise is that it’s not completely over.

Raimundo Ribeiro, Sean’s maternal grandfather, died in March, but both his wife, Silvana, and Lins e Silva have continued to file motions in Brazil to overturn the ruling by the country’s top court that ultimately returned Sean to his father. Ribeiro is also pressing for unrestricted visitation rights in New Jersey.

While Goldman is slowly paying off a legal tab of more than $700,000, the meter is still running. He hopes that sales of his book will reduce the debt.

Whatever the cost, though, Goldman considers it a small price to pay to have his son with him again. After everything he and Sean have had to endure, each day feels like a “miracle,” he said.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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Bortføringer til Latin-Amerika øker


Av:Kjell Schevig, Bortført.no

Norsk presse gir inntrykk av muslimske menn bortfører flest barn, lengre fra sannheten kan man ikke komme. 80 % prosent av kidnappingene begås nemlig av kvinner – hovedsaklig europeiske kvinner fra land som Sverige, Danmark, Polen, Tyskland og Storbritannia.

Nest etter Europa er det Latin-Amerika som importerer flest bortførte barn fra Norge. Bare i Brasil befinner det seg 5 bortførte norske barn, samt to barn i Mexico, ett i Argentina og ett i den Dominikanske republikk. Kvinnene i disse lavkostlandene nyter godt av den sterke norske bidragsvalutaen som Nav sender.

To barn ble bortført fra Bergen til Chile i 2008, men disse er typisk nok ikke registrert i Justisdepartementets statistikk. Les mer om hvordan departementets underrapportering av bortføringer her

Drammenseren David Lindberg fikk sine to barn ble bortført første gang til Brasil i 2003.

Etter fire og et halvt år i Brasil valgte Davids ekskone å gifte seg på nytt med en nordmann og bosette seg i Trøndelag. Således fikk David gjenopprettet samvær med barna sine. Davids datter ønsket etter hvert å bo med sin far og gå 9. klasse i Drammen. Men Davids barn ble bortført på nytt sist sommer. Les mer i Drammens tiendene

Tommy Rune Bless fra Porsgrunn ble frarøvet sine to sønner i høstferien i 2006. Barnefaren har kjempet og presset på gjennom diplomati og domstoler, men så langt uten resultat. Les mer om saken i VG

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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