Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fremont County, Craig M. Dreismeier, District Associate Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Doyle, P.J.
A father appeals from the termination of his parental rights. AFFIRMED.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Danilson and Mullins, JJ.
A father appeals from the termination of his parental rights. We affirm.
I. Background Facts and Proceedings.
M.G. is the father of B.H., born in early 2011. The child came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (Department) in December 2011 due to domestic abuse issues between the child's parents, as well as issues related to the use and misuse of prescription drugs.*fn1 The child was removed from the parents' care and placed in the care of a relative.
The father obtained his first substance abuse evaluation in January 2012, and inpatient substance abuse treatment was recommended. The child was subsequently adjudicated a child in need of assistance (CINA) in January 2012, and the court directed the father to participate in the inpatient substance abuse treatment program. Additionally, the court directed the father to participate in domestic violence counseling; to follow-through with mental health treatment from his provider; to submit to random drug testing; to participate with family safety, risk, permanency services; and to maintain suitable housing and verifiable income.
Shortly thereafter, the father moved to a different town where his sister resided. There, he obtained another substance abuse evaluation from a different provider, which recommended he participate in intensive outpatient treatment. By the time of the April 2012 review hearing, the father still had not started substance abuse treatment. However, he had made some progress, including providing clean drugs samples and following through with treatment of his mentalhealth issues. Additionally, the father's sister was approved for placement of the child in her care, and the father then had frequent contact with the child.
Nevertheless, the father's progress declined. By the time of the October 2012 permanency hearing, the father had moved to a different town to live with his brother, and his contact with the child diminished. He was also in custody for three separate third-degree burglary charges. He had been unsuccessfully discharged from his substance abuse treatment and had not pursued other treatment options. The father had failed to follow through with the random drug testing, and he admitted to having smoked marijuana. The juvenile court directed the State to file a petition for termination of the father's parental rights, which it subsequently filed in November 2012.
The father was released from jail in late November 2012, and as a requirement of his pretrial release, he completed another substance abuse evaluation. That evaluation again recommended inpatient treatment. Additionally, it was recommended the father participate in outpatient treatment until he was able to get placement into the inpatient treatment program. However, the father declined to participate in the outpatient program prior to placement in inpatient treatment because he did not feel it was necessary.
A hearing on the State's termination of parental rights petition was held in January 2013, not quite one year from the child's CINA adjudication. The father was then participating in inpatient treatment. The Department's caseworker testified that she did not believe it was appropriate for the child to be returned to the father's custody at that point because he had not completed the court's recommendations, and she also testified she believed termination of the father's parental rights was in the child's best interests. She testified the child was doing well in relative placement, where the child had already lived a third of her life, and the relatives wished to adopt the child.
In February 2013, the juvenile court entered its order terminating the father's parental rights. The father now appeals. We review his claims de novo. See In re P.L., 778 N.W.2d 33, 40 (Iowa 2010).
On appeal, the father claims the State failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify him with his child, and it failed to prove the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence. Additionally, he asserts the district court erred in finding termination of his parental rights was in the child's best interests and in not giving him additional time to work towards reunification. Beyond these general statements, the father's brief does not set forth "findings of fact or conclusions of law the district court made with which [the father disagreed with] and why," as directed under paragraph number 8 on Form 5 provided under Iowa Rule of Appellate Procedure 6.1401. That paragraph explicitly goes on to explain: "General conclusions, such as 'the trial court's ruling is not supported by law or the ...