Good news for David Goldman of Tipton Falls, N.J. A Brazilian court ruled (again) that his son Sean is to be returned to the United States in 48 hours. (Brazil: Court sides with U.S. father)
The Goldman case is just one of about 25 Hague Convention cases of child abduction the United States and involving American children in Brazil. All told there 776 cases representing 1,160 abducted children of U.S. citizens. (Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention by the U.S. State Department)
The Goldman case has been going on since 2004. Others have been going on much longer. Only a handful get national or international exposure. In some cases the aggrieved American parent is afraid that too much publicity will damage his/her case with the local courts.
Besides the issue of abductions, the State Department’s office of Children’s Issues keeps a close eye on adoptions of foreign children. The watchful eye is not monitoring the prospective parents but rather the adoption agencies.
Adoptions are big business and there are some shady characters involved. And governments often change the rules related for foreign adoptions.
The State Department prepares an annual report on intercountry adoption.
One of the neat items in that report is a breakdown of not only what countries the children come from (China is number 1 with 2,360 adoptions, followed by Guatemala, 1,419, and Ethiopia with 1,031) and state-by-state breakdown of where the children will live. (Not surprisingly California and New York are numbers 1 and 2 with 676 and 505 adoptions respectively.)
Besides the official documents and figures, there are hundreds, if not thousands of support groups for families of abducted children and for families who have adopted children from other countries.
There is a lot of “Local Local Local” in this very much international issue. Just takes a few minutes to look and see.