My stepsister has let me have my niece due to unsuitable living styles and environment that she lives in. My nieces father has not tried to find her or make any kind of contact with her for the last year and a half. I don't even know if he realizes she is not with her mother. My husband and myself would like custody of her so we can provide her our insurance and have the knowledge that her mother can not take her if she can't provide a safe and adequate home.
Real Estate Attorney
You can file a Petition for Guardianship. That way you can make "parental" decisions and cover her with medical insurance.
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Child Custody Lawyer
File a guardianship petition. You will need the names and addresses of your niece's parents, siblings and grandparents (the court MIGHT let you continue without some of those names and addresses. )
For a more immediate solution, have an attorney help you get a caregiver's affidavit which can be done quick and cheap and which a insurer should honor and allow you to purchase insurance for your niece without a guardianship.
Family Law Attorney
I agree with counsel, you should fle a petition for guardianship.
Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.