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In the Interest of G.S.

February 27, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF G.S., MINOR CHILD, A.S., FATHER, APPELLANT.


Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Monroe County, William S. Owens, District Associate Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bower, J.

A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child. AFFIRMED.

Considered by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Danilson and Bower, JJ.

A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child. He contends the State failed to prove the grounds for termination. He also contends he should have been granted additional time to prove his parenting abilities. Finally, he contends termination is not in the child's best interests.

The State has proved the grounds for termination under section 232.116(1)(f) (2011) by clear and convincing evidence. Furthermore, termination is in the child's best interests. There is no compelling reason to delay termination of the father's parental rights. Accordingly, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

The child first came to the attention of the Department of Human Services (DHS) in December 2010 after the father called 911 to report the mother had attempted suicide. Later that day, the DHS received a report that the father had been found unconscious on the kitchen floor with a half-empty can of beer next to him. The child, who was then three years old, was unsupervised in the home.

Although the father refused a breath test, he appeared intoxicated to a DHS worker and admitted that he and the mother had problems with alcohol. The child was initially placed with a paternal aunt but later moved to the maternal grandparents' home. The child was adjudicated to be a child in need of assistance (CINA) in March 2011, with legal custody given to the maternal grandparents.

Initially, the father participated in family safety, risk, and permanency (FSRP) services and substance abuse treatment. However, after the father reportedly relapsed on alcohol, it was recommended that he attend a more intensive treatment program and support meetings. Again, he complied with the recommendations for a time.

The child was returned to the mother's care in August 2011. She was later arrested, and in October 2011, the child was placed with the father. However, in December 2011, the DHS was informed the father was consuming alcohol and had been too intoxicated to care for the child. He and his girlfriend got into an argument, and the police were called to the home. The father was arrested, and the child was placed with the maternal grandparents again.

The father was committed for mental health and substance abuse concerns on December 16, 2011. after threatening to harm himself. At the time of his hospitalization, his blood alcohol concentration was .240. The father was released two days later.

In July 2012, the father admitted he was an alcoholic, but he continued to use alcohol. While he had been diagnosed with adjustment disorder, depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse, the father was not seeing a counselor. The father had prescriptions for medication that he had not filled and admitted he was not taking his medication as prescribed.

On August 6, 2012, the State filed a petition to terminate parental rights. A hearing was held on October 1, 2012. In its December 17, 2012 order, the juvenile court terminated the mother and father's parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f), finding termination in the child's best interests.*fn1 The court also ...


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