I started babysitting for a friend 10 years ago and have had the child for the past 5 years without any help from mother or father.
There is information that we would need to know in order to provide you with guidance on this. Are you a relative? Did anyone try to find the parents, or could they be missing persons? You may want to contact child protective services or consult with an attorney who can review your case in detail and present you with the options.
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I agree with my colleague above, there is a lot of information we would need in order to give you proper legal advice.
This answer is not intended to provide you with specific legal advice regarding your situation, or to create any attorney-client relationship. The intent is only to provide general information. You should be aware that you cannot rely on this answer alone and you should always consult your own attorney in order to obtain legal advice.
If you know how to locate the parents you should see if they can give you guardianship of the child. If you do not know how to locate the parents you could contact the state. However, at that point they may take the child away from you while they work through the process. And if you are not a relative or foster parent, you may not be able to get the child back.
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