When you have a child, there are so many moments you cherish. From tucking them in bed at night to their first day of school, each memory you make together holds a place in your heart and theirs. Even though the bond between parent and child knows no boundaries, being 5,000 miles apart can put a strain on the relationship. Being separated from your child is the reality that countless parents face when facing an international custody battle.
In the news
A Houston physician Chris Brann, made headlines earlier this week when used an unusual technique to put pressure on his former spouse in an effort to get his child back. For the past five years, Brann’s son Nicolas has been living in Salvador, Brazil. His mother, who was born and raised there, took their son on several approved trips before but this last time she never came back.
Brann’s ex-parents- in- law landed Wednesday morning in Miami and were taken into custody by the FBI. Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes were charged with international parental abduction. In an unheard of tactic in international custody fights, Brann alluded that he would possibly drop the criminal charges if Nicolas was brought back to the U.S immediately. If convicted, the grandparents could each get up to eight years in federal prison.
Brazil signed a treaty
Brann’s case is just one of many stories in which American parents have fought with the South American country hoping to get their children back. The Hague Convention of 1980 worked towards creating an international agreement that would return children to their respective home if illegally taken out of their country of residence.
Although Brazil has signed the agreement since 2005, the State Department considers the country to be “noncompliant” with the convention. When such cases are tried in Brazilian courts, it can take years to resolve and judges reportedly tend to side with its citizens.