EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

July 6, 2013

Mass. mom: Custody dispute stranded me

(Continued)

In 2009, a five-year custody battle involving a boy with family in New Jersey and Brazil ended with the 9-year-old Sean Goldman's return to the United States with his father David Goldman.

The case had pitted David Goldman against his son's Brazilian stepfather, who had cared for the boy after his mother died in childbirth. The boy's mother had brought him to her native Brazil for what was supposed to be a vacation, but she stayed before divorcing her son's father and remarrying. The boy's stepfather had temporary custody of him, before the conclusion of a case that strained relations between Brazil and the United States.

When the boy's handover was blocked shortly before the custody dispute ended, the U.S. Senate put a hold on a trade deal worth about $2.75 billion a year to Brazil. The dispute prompted high-level discussions involving President Barack Obama and his then-counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Shauna Hadden has a Facebook page called "Trapped in Brazil" that she is updating as she waits for the case to be resolved.

In an email to The Associated Press on Friday, she said she and her daughter are stressed and want to come home.

"Ava is tired and having a hard time," she said.

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