If you don’t respond to the application, the judge can make an order without hearing what you think. You usually have 7 days to respond. The Family Court will tell you if you have less time.
If you decide to respond and contest the application (called defending the application), you’ll need to fill in the forms, file them with the court and then serve them on the other people involved in the court case, including the lawyer for the child. You usually have 7 days to respond. The Family Court will tell you if you have less time.
It's important that you stay in touch with the social worker at Oranga Tamariki. When you're served with the application documents, an information sheet at the back will have the contact details for the social worker for your child’s case.
If your child has been put into the care of Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children, the social worker will talk with you about contact with your child while the case is going through the Family Court.