Wald & Thorndal is one of the very few law firms with extensive experience handling contested parentage actions at both Trial and Appellate court levels. Ms. Wald personally worked on many of the cases that established the current rules by which California courts determine legal parentage, and she is nationally recognized for her work advocating for lesbian non-biological mothers being denied access to the children they have helped raise.
Wald & Thorndal takes a child-centered approach to parentage disputes, generally trying to resolve these cases to the full extent possible through mediation and negotiation in the best interests of the children. However, when litigation is called for, the attorneys at Wald & Thorndal have the experience necessary to handle what are often very complex cases from beginning to end, including through the appeals process if necessary.
Although they are based in San Francisco, given their specialized expertise in this area the attorneys at Wald & Thorndal handle parentage matters throughout California, frequently working as consultants or co-counsel to local attorneys in order to assure that all appropriate legal arguments are made at trial and a strong record created for appeal.
Ms. Wald's most recent published parentage decision is S.Y. v. S.B (2011) 201 Cal.App.4th 1023, a case where a California Court of Appeal for the first time applied the rules for determining "presumed" parentage in a context where the children had previously been adopted by only one parent. For more information on the appellate work of Ms. Wald and Mr. Thorndal, see Appeals.