Former immigrant Carlos Eduardo Brito, now living back home in Brazil, is fighting to gain custody of his son in Massachusetts before officials turn the 9-year-old over for adoption. The boy’s mother is accused of drunk driving and leaving her son at home alone. The translation below is of an article originally in Portuguese from the Brazilian Times.
After 12 years of living in the United States and divorcing his wife, Carlos Eduardo Brito, 32, returned to his native Brazil. Brito used to live in Boston, Massachusetts, where he became a father nine years ago. This Brazilian man is now fighting to gain custody of his son.
His ex-wife, Brazilian native Celi Braga, got involved in a car accident that ended with the death of Chilean Sara Escudeiro, 64, this past July. Braga is accused of driving under the influence and the U.S. government began the procedures to strip her of her son’s custody.
The Brazilian father decided to fight in court to gain custody of his son and prevent that he is adopted by other people. The mother, Braga, lost custody of her son for allegedly leaving him home alone on the day the car accident took place. The father said that he is trying to obtain a visa to re-enter the United States again but that seems unlikely as “I overstayed my visa when I first entered the United States 12 years ago.”
The trial of Braga started on Sept. 6. Meanwhile, the father of the boy says he is “running against time.” Brito has to prove that he can provide for and take care of the child while struggling to receive a visa so that he can fight in court for custody. “I don’t know what to do anymore. All I want is to take care of my son, raise him and give him love,” says Brito.
The child, Matheus Braga Pereira, according to his father, was born in Boston and has dual citizenship. Since the day his mother was arrested, the boy has been taken care of by an evangelical priest who is also a friend of the family. According to our sources, the child is not aware of what is happening. He believes his mother is ill and he has no knowledge that his mother is in jail. On Sept. 13, the court will decide if the boy will be given over for adoption or not.
Brito describes his ex-wife as a very caring person who was always dedicated to their son. “I can’t complain about her, we were in touch through the Internet,” says the father while he highlights that the law in the United States is very strict. “Not only had she been drinking, she also drove a vehicle without having a driver’s license and left our son by himself,” he added.
The father currently lives in São Torquato, Vila Velha, Grande Vitória, in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo. Brito explains that he lives off rental income from six apartments that he bought while he lived in the United States. He arrived in Boston in 1997 and opened up a business while his wife was a stay-at-home mom. The couple was married for three years. After separating, Brito was diagnosed with cancer and had to go back to Brazil.
“Matheus has parents, he has grandparents and cousins, he has a family here,” he said and he didn’t hide his emotions. “We do not live in slums as many Americans might think that is where Brazilians live.”