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In re K.B.

Court of Appeal of Iowa

August 7, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF K.B. and D.S. Minor Children, D.B., Mother, Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Terry Wilson, District Associate Judge.

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.

Jeremy B.A. Feitelson of Feitelson Law, L.L.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, John Sarcone, County Attorney, and Annette Taylor, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Kimberly Ayotte of Youth Law Center, Des Moines, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.

Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Danilson and Tabor, JJ.

DANILSON, J.

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her children, K.B. and D.S.[1] The children were removed from her custody after she was arrested for possession with intent to deliver (marijuana). Since that time, the mother has not shown that she is any more prepared to care for the children properly after reasonable services have been provided to her. Additional time granted to the mother is not in the children's best interest notwithstanding the parent-child bond. We affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

D.S. was born in May 2004 and was nine years old at the time of the termination hearing. K.B. was born in June 2007 and was five years old at the time of the hearing.

The children were removed from their parents' custody on April 24, 2012, after their mother was arrested for possession of and intent to deliver marijuana. She also admitted to personally using the substance. Once the mother became aware of the removal order, she fled with the children to Illinois.

On June 1, 2012, the children were adjudicated children in need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(b), (c)(2), and (n) (2012). The caretakers of the children were still refusing to return the children to the State of Iowa, despite the court's order to do so. An order for interstate warrant was signed and issued requiring the children to be returned to the Iowa Department of Human Services' (DHS) custody. The children were returned to the State of Iowa on June 5, 2012, through the efforts of DHS and the guardian ad litem. At that time, they were placed in shelter care until June 22, 2012, when they were placed in their current foster home.

The mother was jailed in June 2012 after missing a court hearing regarding the criminal charges against her. She remained incarcerated until August 17, 2012. During the time, she was not able to have regular visits with the children.

On June 27, 2012, a disposition hearing was held. The court ordered that the children were to remain in out-of-home placement due to the mother's unresolved substance abuse issues. The case permanency plan that was adopted required the mother to participate in random drug screens, undergo a substance abuse evaluation and follow all resulting recommendations, comply with the children's individual therapy, abstain from mood altering substances, comply ...


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