Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
I don't think you necessarily have to go through the foster care system. Since you have been the one caring for the child for this long you can file for legal guardianship. If the mom doesn't pay anything to you to help you raise the child then you can get assistance on her behalf, of which the mom would be responsible for paying back at some point. I know my grandmother got custody of my sister and I this way. We were not part of the foster system.
Heather, wife to James & mommy to:
Jaden (8.06), Mara (8.07), Fenn (5.09),
Elias (7.10), & Levi (11.11) 80lbs lost!
*i* Loved and Lost (6/12), (9/12), & (2/13) *i*