Challenges to law could redefine Native American foster care, adoption. See more education news here

| December 20, 2018

By Kailey Broussard, Amy-Xiaoshi DePaola, Harrison Mantas and Lindsay Walker • Special to Cronkite News • Navajo-Hopi Observer

PHOENIX — Gilbert resident Mimi Condon calls the struggle to make her oldest son part of her family her “39-month labor.”

That’s how long it took to adopt David because he’s a Native American and the Condons are not — which meant the 40-year-old Indian Child Welfare Act came into play during the adoption, adding layers of complexity to the process.

The Condons did not set out to adopt Native American children, but three of their four adopted kids — David, now 11, Tommy, 7, and Isaac, 4 — are Native American. Condon tries to keep them connected to their roots, but said she adopted the boys to get them out of foster care and into a loving home.

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