A judge has ordered an investigation into whether a six-year-old living with the family of convicted drug dealers should be returned to his mother.
His mother agreed for relatives of her ex-boyfriend to become her son's guardians when she gave birth aged 17.
The man who the boy now looks on as his father is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for drugs trafficking, the High Court heard.
Two of the man's sons have also been jailed for drug dealing.
The boy's mother, who is 23 and from Surrey, told the hearing she was worried about the lifestyles of her son's new family and wanted to have him living back with her.
She began her legal fight in 2013 and has represented herself at a series of family court hearings because she cannot afford lawyers and is not eligible for legal aid.
On Wednesday Mr Justice Jackson ordered a new investigation into the boy's circumstances.
He said a family court judge must oversee a new trial and said "hard questions" had to be asked to find out whether the boy was being harmed.
Speaking outside the court, the boy's mother said: "He's living with drug dealers. That just can't be right.
"I agreed to him living with this family after he was born. I was 16 when I got pregnant and 17 when I gave birth.
"I've grown up since then. I can look after him now and I want him back," she said.