I will answer what I know as a foster parent in the U.S.
In the situation you describe, the children would probably be in foster care. This is one of the "scenarios" we had to deal with during our training.
The good news is, if that's true then A has got a great place to start. She should work with DCF in that area. She should reach out to them and let them know. DCF would be more then willing to place the children with A if they can (we will address that in a moment).
If the children are with F has custody, then the first step is to get the children into Foster care, and away from the bad parent.
Based on your tags I am going to continue as if the children are in Foster care.
- Reach out to the "Case Manager" and let them know you were friends of A and the childrens god parents. They will be thrilled.
- Be prepared to do a "home study". The case worker will stop by and make sure that you have what you need, things like enough room, the ability to care for children (money), and general safety (no chain saws on the living room floor).
- Next will be transitioning the children from their foster parents to you. This needs to be a smooth process so be prepared for it to take a while. The children have already been traumatized once by "loosing" their mother. So take your time with the transition and focus on making it a smooth process for them. Start with visits and then nights over and finally "moving in". The case worker will know how to proceed. Don't be afraid to reach out to the foster parents and ask for help. Almost all will be more then happy to help.
- With the kids in your custody, then prepare for adoption. The process is long. About a year. You will have frequent home inspections, and lots of different "case workers" in and out of your home. Around here there are about 6 different workers that come in and out of the home during the adoption phase. Try to work with each one of them. If they suggest classes take them. A lot of the classes help with how to work with the system. Others focus on working with the needs of children that have been through trauma (these children have).
- Make sure to hire an adoption lawyer. Then finalize everything. This will likely be a couple of years after the kids move in. It's a process, but it's designed to make sure that the kids are safe and secure and not moved around all the time.
There are a few things to note. IANAL I am a foster parent, you need a lawyer. Make sure to get one as soon as you can. A should reach out the case worker ASAP. Even though she can't take the children right now, if the case worker knows that she is trying to get things together, there is often funding to help speed that process up, and more importantly the current foster parents can be told, and the children prepared. Entering foster care is always traumatic. There's not much that can be done about that. You yanked away from every one and every thing you have every known and thrown into some strangers house. One of the best quotes from class was "Don't take candy from strangers, just move in with them." On the exit side though it doesn't have to be that traumatic. It will be emotional, but if the children and the foster parents know, then trauma can be avoided. just taking the kids from their current foster home with no warning is usually more traumatic then the first time around because it just re-enforces the "can't count on anyone" feelings.
As for E, not a problem. Once given up, getting parental rights back is near impossible (this will depend on local laws).
F could be an issue, you will have to prove that he is an unfit parent. That could be a very hard thing to do. Even in foster care, we would try to reach out to F and make them a better parent (get them off the drugs) instead of ruling them out completely. A should be willing to work with F. If not this may get messy.
And if A has a trump card (a living will stating the mothers intentions) PLAY IT NOW! Get it on file with the courts and make it known to everyone. That could make a huge difference.