Waldlaw Blog

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mothers' Day at Wald Law Group

Today was quite a day at The Wald Law Group! This morning, my associate Paul Thorndal and I appeared in two separate courts -- one in San Francisco, and one in Martinez -- on behalf of non-biological lesbian mothers. In both courts, our clients left the courtrooms at the end of the morning full legal parents of the children they had helped bring into this world. The cases were very different. In the San Francisco case, the biological mother ended up agreeing that her ex-partner was a parent, and should be accorded legal rights. She ultimately swallowed her hurt, her anger, and her fear of the future and came to the table to work out an agreement on custody, visitation and child support that I hope will serve both women and their son well for many years to come. In the Martinez case, the biological mother fought us all the way. Having moved the children to Florida when their partnership fell apart, she challenged the jurisdiction of the California court to even decide the case. Since our client was clearly a mother in California, and was equally clearly not a mother in Florida, the whole case came down to which court got to rule. In the end, after full briefing and a long evidentiary hearing, the Martinez court determined that California retained jurisdiction, granted our petition to establish our client as a legal mother, and sent the women to mediation to work out visitation and support. Two new mothers in one day! And so, we are celebrating Mothers' Day at The Wald Law Group today. And here is my salute to brave mothers: those mothers brave enough to swallow their fear and pride and do what is best for their children, whether that means carrying on a fight not to be cut out of their children's lives, knowing that they may lose; or giving up a fight when they realize that it is not in their children's interest for them to win. You are all to be honored, and I do so now. And, while I'm at it, a belated Happy Thanksgiving!


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