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In re D.S.

Court of Appeal of Iowa

July 10, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF D.S., Minor Child, C.S., Father, Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.

A father appeals from the termination of his parental rights.

Lynn C.H. Poschner of Borseth Law Office, Altoona, for appellant father.

William E. Sales III of Sales Law Firm, P.C., Des Moines, for mother.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Katherine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Jennifer G. Galloway, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.

Charles Fuson and Nicole Garbis-Nolan of the Youth Law Center, Des Moines, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.

Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Danilson and Mullins, JJ.

DOYLE, P.J.

A father appeals from the order terminating his parental rights to his child. We affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

C.S. is the father and A.M. is the mother of D.S., born in April 2009. At the time of the child's conception, the parents lived in Chicago, Illinois. About one month into her pregnancy, the mother moved to Iowa, and she informed the father via telephone that she was pregnant.

The child tested positive for marijuana at birth and subsequently came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (Department). The mother voluntarily participated in services with the Department. Meanwhile, the father came to Iowa occasionally to visit the child, or the mother traveled with the child to Chicago, where the father would see the child. After the child's birth, the father saw the child once, sometimes twice, a month. He would occasionally send the mother diapers or money for diapers if she requested.

The mother failed to resolve her ongoing issues, and, in April 2010, the State filed a child in need of assistance (CINA) petition. A copy of the petition was mailed to the father at his Chicago address. Thereafter, the child was removed from the mother's care. Although he denied receiving the petition, the father admitted he learned of the removal approximately a week after it had occurred. Nevertheless, he did not contact the Department about the removal or his interest in caring for the child. The child was adjudicated a CINA in June 2010.

The mother continued to participate in services, and the Department's caseworker requested the mother to tell the father that the Department wished to get in touch with him. In August, the father contacted the caseworker, but, because he was at work at the time, the conversation was ...


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