SAO PAULO – SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian woman ordered to relinquish her son to his American father in an international child abduction case is appealing the ruling, but her lawyer says she will not try to evade justice, local news media reported.
Hilma Aparecida Caldeira, 38, a bronze medal winner at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta as part of Brazil's national volleyball team, has not appeared in public since the case surfaced, and her whereabouts are unclear.
She has not fled, Gilberto Antonio Guimaraes told Globo TV's G1 website.
"She will not create difficulties," Guimaraes said. "She is not missing or hiding, just taking some time at her home to absorb the moment."
Attempts to contact Caldeira or her lawyer were unsuccessful Sunday.
Caldeira brought the boy to the South American country in 2006 to visit relatives and then stayed, filing the same year for divorce and for custody, according to the father.
Kelvin Birotte, a 43-year-old Houston man, told The Associated Press on Saturday that he last saw his son, also named Kelvin, at a court hearing in 2007 when the boy was 1½ years old. He turns 5 on Aug. 29.
The order to hand the boy over to his father was based on the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, according to U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Orna Blum. Permanent custody is a separate issue to be decided later by U.S. courts.
Birotte, who is in Brazil, said the deadline for the handover is Thursday.
He said he has drawn inspiration from the case of David Goldman, a New Jersey man who was reunited with his 9-year-old son, Sean, in December after a five-year battle in U.S. and Brazilian courts.
The two fathers have never met, but Birotte said he e-mailed Goldman messages of support.