New Zealand Law
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You can apply for a parenting order but the problem will be opposition from CYFS. and the priority given to whanau over someone who is not a relation. The test is always what is in the best interests of the child, and that is not always easy to decide. You should certainly try but the disadvanyage of not being family will be an issue. The rest of what you describe appears really helpful. Your next step would need to get a lawyer to help make your application, and start the more formal process.