IN THE INTEREST OF J.W. and J.D., Minor Children, M.D., Father of J.D., Appellant, A.W., Mother, Appellant, A.W., Father of J.W., Appellant.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt, District Associate Judge.
The mother and the fathers of two children appeal from the termination of their parental rights.
Tabitha L. Turner of Turner & Vogel Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant father of J.D.
Jane M. White of Jane M. White Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant mother.
Bridget Bott of Bott Law Office, P.L.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant father of J.W.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, John Sarcone, County Attorney, and Susan Cox, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.
John Jellineck of Public Defender's Office, Des Moines, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Danilson and Mullins, JJ.
The mother and the fathers of two children appeal from the termination of their parental rights. Statutory grounds for termination of parental rights exist as to each parent and each child. Termination of parental rights will offer the children needed permanency, and no factor precludes the termination of each parent's rights. We therefore affirm on each appeal.
I. Background Facts and Proceedings.
J.D. was born in August 2005. His mother is Amanda and his father is Michael. J.D. has leukemia and is in the final year of a three-year initial treatment regimen. His caretaker has to be very attentive to his medical condition at all times. He also has ongoing behavior struggles—he can be violent with others—and regularly attends therapy sessions to address his aggression and other behaviors.
J.W. was born in March 2009. His mother is Amanda and his father is Aaron. J.W. has significant medical issues: narrow heart arteries, one partial kidney, and cognitive limitations. He requires considerable medical supervision and at least eight hours of skilled in-home nursing care per day. At the time of the termination hearing in March 2013, J.W. was just "starting to become verbal."
The children came to the attention of the department of human services (DHS) and were removed from the parents' custody in November 2011 when Amanda and Aaron left the half-siblings at Michael's home, where a registered sex-offender was also residing. The two children were placed with J.W.'s paternal grandmother, Christina. Christina is a full-time nurse who takes care of medically dependent children. She has provided the children with needed care and stability for more than sixteen months and is willing and eager to adopt both children.
Michael has a history of domestic abuse and substance abuse. It is reported by workers that Amanda has "inappropriate expectations" for children.Aaron does not interact with the children unless prompted.
The parents did not contest the children's removal and the children were adjudicated children in need of assistance (CINA) after an uncontested hearing on January 6, 2012. A February 16 dispositional order continued the children's placement with Christina. The August 13 review order noted the children's placement outside the home was required because the "[p]arents [are] living in shelters and ...