Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Montgomery County, Susan Larson Christensen, District Associate Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bower, J.
A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child. AFFIRMED.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her children. She contends the State failed to prove the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence. Finding the circumstances that led to the child-in-need-of-assistance adjudication continue to exist, we affirm the termination of her parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d) (2011).
I. Background Facts and Proceedings.
The children-ages seven, six, and three at the time of termination-were adjudicated in need of assistance (CINA) in June 2010 after the mother attempted suicide in front of them. The children were removed from the mother's care and placed in foster care in August 2010 after she was discovered passed out on the couch while the children were unattended with medicine and cleaning supplies on the floor. The mother characterized this incident as an "overdose." Other than a four-month period from May 2011 to September 2011, the children have been out of the mother's care.
The mother has a history of substance abuse, having used marijuana, methamphetamine, and heroin. She has not successfully completed substance abuse treatment. The mother also has mental health issues with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Although she needs medication, she was not taking any at the time of the termination hearing.
The mother, who is living in Kansas, has only been visiting the children once per month. She has not had consistent contact with the Department of Human Services (DHS), has failed to submit to the required drug testing on a regular basis, and has not been participating in services. However, the mother testified at the termination hearing that she had been sober since May 1, 2012, and that she now intends to go to inpatient treatment.
Following the June 2012 termination hearing, the juvenile court terminated the mother's parental rights to her children pursuant to sections 232.116(1)(d),
(f), (h), and (l). The mother appeals.
II. Scope and Standard of Review.
We review termination of parental rights proceedings de novo. In re A.B., 815 N.W.2d 764, 773 (Iowa 2012). While we are not bound by the juvenile court's fact-findings, we do give them weight, especially when assessing witness credibility. Id.
The grounds for termination under section 232.116 must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. In re C.A.V., 787 N.W.2d 96, 100 (Iowa Ct. App. 2010). Evidence is "clear and convincing" where there are no "serious or substantial doubts as to the correctness or conclusions of ...