Foster Parent; Private, Relative/Kinship, Birth Parent, Step-Parent; LGBTQ; Adult


Children & Incapacitated Adults

Indian Child Welfare Act:

Ensuring Compliance with Federal & State ICWA statues in child welfare and adoption matters

The Shanker Law Firm, PLC believes that families come in all different
shapes, sizes, colors, origins, preferences, and compositions. We believe
that the defining element to any family is LOVE; and if that, which is called
"family" surrounds a chosen child with unconditional love we are all made


  • Who Can Adopt:

    An adult resident of Arizona, married, single, or legally separated. Spouses may adopt jointly or individually. An adult resident of another state may file their petition to adopt in Arizona if the child(ren) is currently a dependent child within the jurisdiction of an Arizona state Juvenile Court. Adherence to the federal ICPC Statute.

  • Who Can Be Adopted:

    A minor child, or a foreign-born person under 21 years of age and who is documented. If a petition to adopt is filed before a minor turns 18 years old, you can still finalize the adoption in Juvenile Court.

  • Can I Adopt My Foster Child:

    If you are a licensed foster parent, a kinship placement, or Certified by the Court as acceptable to adopt children, you may petition to adopt your foster child once they are legally free to be adopted. *The Shanker Law Firm accepts DES Subsidy “Reimbursement of Non-Recurring Funds” as full and final payment for all legal services and costs related to the adoption of a Foster Child.

  • Do I Have to be Approved by the Court Before I Can Adopt:

    All adults adopting have to complete criminal and child welfare background checks and be fingerprinted. If you are the adult sibling; first-degree aunt or uncle; grandparent or great-grandparent; the current spouse of the parent of a child; or a currently licensed foster parent, you do not need to be Certified by the Court as acceptable to adopt. If you do not fall into any of these exempt categories, you will need to go through the process of being Certified by the Court. All adults 18 years+ that are living in the adoptive home must be fingerprinted and have child welfare background checks.

  • Where Can I File My Petition to Adopt:

    You can file your petition to adopt in either your county of residence, or the county that holds jurisdiction over your child’s dependency matter (if applicable).

  • What is the ICWA:

    The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal statute that protects the best interest of a child who is eligible to be enrolled or an enrolled member of a Federally recognized Native American/Alaskan Tribe or Nation. If your child is subject to the ICWA you must provide Notice to the child’s Tribe/Nation of your intent to adopt.

  • How Do I Become a Foster / Adopt Parent:

    There are children of all ages legally free to be adopted and are waiting for the “Forever Family” right here in the state of Arizona. If you would like to find out how you can become a licensed foster parent.

    go to: or reach out to AZDCS at 1-877-KIDS-NEEDU.

  • How Do I Get More Questions Answered:

    Call or email Tamera and her Staff at The Shanker Law Firm: or (480) 838-9300

Needs We Can Help You With:

  • Step Parents

    • Full representation in both contested and uncontested matters. Services inclusive of obtaining birth parent(s) direct consents; or if needed, filing for termination of a birth parent(s) rights to legally free a child to be adopted by a step-parent.

  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

    • Assuring compliance with state and federal ICWA requirements in state court custody proceedings.




  • Private Individuals and Couples

    • Representing individuals and Private Couples in their desire to adopt through direct placement of a child. Guidance, legal counsel and representation through the labyrinth of the private adoption process. . .from Certification - Temporary Custody / Placement  to Finalization of the Adoption




  • Out-of-State Placements

    • Assisting out-of-state families adopting children who are wards of the state of Arizona; providing legal representation to Arizona residents who are adopting children placed in Arizona by another state through an ICPC* agreement; private placement  ICPC* Adoptions.


    (*Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children)

  • Birth Parents

    • Representing Birth Mothers, as well as Birth Fathers, through the difficult yet self-less decision to privately place their child for adoption with a chosen individual or family.
    • Representing Birth Fathers in timely asserting their paternity rights and obligations.




  • Adult Adoptions

    • Representing adult person(s) who wish to pursue adoption of another *eligible adult (*current or previous stepchild, niece, nephew, cousin or grandchild; or former foster placement). 



  • Foster Parents/Kinship Adoptions

    • Representation of licensed and unlicensed foster parents and kinship families in Department of Child Safety (DCS) related adoption matters.

    (*Firm accepts DES Subsidy “Reimbursement of Non-Recurring Funds” as full and final payment for all legal services and costs related to the adoption of a Foster Child.)

  • Adoptions and Guardianships

    • Representing family members seeking private adoption or guardianship of their minor relatives; or permanent placement through the Child Welfare system.
    • Representation of family members or other interested persons seeking guardianship of an incapacitated adult (17.5 years & older)

If You Have Any Questions

Call Us at (480) 838-9300 or email us at