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In the Interest of C.W.

May 15, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF C.W., MINOR CHILD, L.W., MOTHER, APPELLANT,
S.T.W., FATHER, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Louise Jacobs, District Associate Judge.

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

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child. AFFIRMED.

Considered by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.

By her own account, Lindsey started abusing methamphetamine when she was twenty-two years old. Now at age thirty-five, still struggling with drug addiction, she seeks to reverse the termination of her parental rights to her eleven-year-old son, C.W. She contends the juvenile court should have ordered "another planned permanent living arrangement" (APPLA) under Iowa Code section 232.104(2)(d) (2011).

Lindsey makes no case for returning C.W. to her care. Because her request for APPLA in place of termination is not appropriate, we affirm the juvenile court ruling.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

Authorities removed C.W. from the custody of his parents, Lindsey and Steven, in early April 2011 because they were abusing drugs. C.W. has not been home since. The juvenile court adjudicated him as a child in need of assistance (CINA) on April 22, 2011.

Steven started serving a six-year federal prison sentence in December 2011. Lindsey also was arrested on drug charges that month, which is the last time she had a visit with her son. She admittedly used drugs through most of the CINA case. She successfully completed residential drug treatment at MECCA in February and March of 2012, but did not follow through with outpatient treatment after her discharge.

On March 14, 2012, the juvenile court entered an order under Iowa Code section 232.104(2)(b) allowing Lindsey an additional six months to regain custody of her son, finding compelling grounds, based on C.W.'s age and his bond with his mother, not to terminate parents rights. The court order required Lindsey to comply with the following provisions: "[M]other to commit to sobriety and demonstrate such, clarify position in regards to father, demonstrate supportive posture to concurrent planning, supportive of foster parents in parental roles."

Lindsey did not make good use of the six months. She was evicted from her home in May 2012 and moved into Beacon of Life, but left that program in June. She tested positive for methamphetamine in May and for marijuana in June 2012. She was arrested for theft and a probation violation in August 2012.

On September 4, 2012, the court entered another permanency review order, modifying the permanency goal and directing the State to file a petition for termination of parental rights. The State filed that petition on November 19, 2012, alleging the following statutory grounds for termination: Iowa Code sections 232.116(1)(b), (d), (e), (f), (i) and (l).

The juvenile court heard evidence on December 13, 2012. On January 4, 2013, the court issued its order terminating the parental rights of both the mother and father on all grounds alleged by the State. This appeal addresses only the rights of the mother.*fn1

II. Scope and Standards of Review

We review the juvenile court's termination-of-parental-rights order de novo. In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 706 (Iowa 2010). To the extent the mother's claim calls for interpretation of section 232.104(2)(d), our review is for ...


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