US Father and Brazilian Mother have Daughter together.
Back in 2008, when Mother did not have legal status in the US and the family lived in Illinois, Father and Mother were battling over custody of Daughter.
So Mother allegedly made off with Daughter to her native Brazil.
Father hasn’t seen or spoken to Daughter since.
Until recently, that is.
But a couple of weeks ago, Father, who now lives in Arizona, went to mediation with Mother regarding Daughter, in Brazil.
The mediation was different from the typical divorce or child custody mediation. Not only did Mother’s mother attend (unusual in itself), but both the US State Department (the US central authority) and the Brazilian Central Authority had representatives attend under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
The marathon mediation session went on for fifteen hours. Kind of long for one session, but not altogether unheard of.
But the mediation was successful, and Mother and Father resolved custody and visitation and timesharing issues regarding Daughter.
And Father got to see Daughter for the first time in over three years.
Astonishingly, Daughter still remembered Father from before her abduction at two and one-half years of age.
And the two got to spend some quality time together in Brazil, having outings and re-establishing their father-daughter bond.
While the agreement cannot be described as overly generous to Father, it does at least provide for unlimited phone and internet-facilitated communication between Father and Daughter and for regular, if infrequent, timesharing and visitation with Daughter in Brazil until she is twelve and, thereafter, lengthier visitation and timesharing here in the US.
Meanwhile, Father continues to work on petitioning for legislation to facilitate blocking unauthorized removal of children from the US.
Mother could face federal criminal charges if she returns to the US.
Daughter is one of approximately twenty American children detained in Brazil despite the requirements of the Hague Convention.
On the other hand, Brazil claims that that about seventy Brazilian children are in the same boat here in the US.
Read more in this [Tempe, AZ] East Valley Tribune article: E.V. man finally sees daughter who was taken to Brazil; custody deal reached and this [Tempe, AZ] East Valley Tribune article: San Tan Valley man hopes international fight for daughter spurs law.