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In re I.M.

Court of Appeal of Iowa

June 12, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF I.M., A.M., and C.M., Minor Children, M.M., Father, Appellant, G.C., Grandmother, Appellant, M.M., Mother, Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton, District Associate Judge.

A mother, father, and grandmother appeal from a termination order.

Angela Reyes, Davenport, for appellant-father.

Jack E. Dusthimer, Davenport, for appellant-grandmother.

Joel Walker, Davenport, for appellant-mother.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, Michael Walton, County Attorney, and Julie A. Walton, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Marsha Arnold, Davenport, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.

Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.

BOWER, J.

The juvenile court terminated parental rights to three children. The mother, father, and maternal grandmother appeal. The mother and father argue the State failed to prove the grounds for termination of their parental rights. The children's maternal grandmother, an intervenor, argues the children should be placed with her.

Clear and convincing evidence supports termination of the mother's and the father's parental rights. Termination is also in the children's best interests. We also find placement of the children with the grandmother is not in the children's best interests. Accordingly, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

This appeal involves three children, born in 2006, 2008, and 2011. The two older children lived outside of the home during part of 2009. They came to the attention of the Department of Human Services (DHS) in 2010 due to the mother and father's substance abuse and failure to provide proper supervision. The children were adjudicated to be children in need of assistance (CINA) in November 2010. One child was placed with the maternal grandmother and the other child was placed with the paternal grandmother.

The mother became pregnant in late 2010. She refused to abstain from drug use while pregnant. The mother was placed in jail to provide her with treatment and to protect the unborn child from further drug exposure. In June 2011, shortly after birth, the youngest child was also adjudicated to be CINA. On July 8, 2011, all three children were removed from their relative placements due to concerns that family members were not following safety plans and allowed ...


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