IN THE INTEREST OF C.R. AND J.R., Minor Children, K.R., Mother, Appellant, J.R., Father, Appellant
This decision is published in table format in the North Western Reporter.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Kevin A. Parker, District Associate Judge. A mother and father separately appeal from the termination of their parental rights.
John C. Heinicke of Kragnes & Associates, P.C., Des Moines, for appellant mother.
Todd A. Miler, West Des Moines, for appellant father.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, and Julie A. Forsyth, County Attorney, for appellee State.
Erica Parkey, Des Moines, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
A mother and father separately appeal from the termination of their parental rights. They both argue clear and convincing evidence does not support termination and the district court should have applied the statutory factors to decline termination of their rights. We affirm, finding clear and convincing evidence supports termination as to both parents, termination is in the children's best interests, and our permissive statutory factors should not be applied to decline termination of the parents' rights.
I. Facts and Proceedings.
The department of human services (DHS) has been involved with this family in some capacity since 2005. The ongoing concern with the family is the parents' use of methamphetamine. C.R. and J.R. were adjudicated children in need of assistance (CINA) in September 2008, after being removed from the home the previous July. At that time, the mother and father were leaving the two children unannounced with relatives for days at a time, consuming methamphetamine in the children's presence, and living with the children in hotel rooms. Over the next several years, the family participated in services provided by DHS; the father participated in the drug court program. Both parents provided several clean drug tests during this time. The children were returned to their mother's care in August 2009. The father completed residential drug treatment and returned to live with the mother in September 2010. Several CINA review hearings were conducted during this time; each time the court confirmed the adjudication, finding the court's involvement was still required.
In the spring of 2011, the mother left the children with the father and moved to California. She had minimal contact with the children after this point in time. In April 2013, the father self-reported a drug relapse after he was in a car accident and charged with operating while intoxicated and third-offense possession of a controlled substance. Several reports of child abuse were also made during this time involving the father's neglect of the children. The court granted an emergency removal and confirmed the children's removal after a hearing May 9, 2013, due to the methamphetamine charge against the father and several reports that the father was not supervising the children.
A review hearing was held July 18, 2013. The court continued the removal and set a date for a waiver of reasonable efforts hearing. The State filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of the mother and father on July 29. A hearing was held on this petition the following month. The court terminated ...