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In re Interest of A.P.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 12, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF A.P., Minor Child, M.P., Father, Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision is published in table format in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J. Tabor, District Associate Judge. A father appeals from the order terminating his parental rights.

J. David Zimmerman, Clinton, for appellant father.

Clayton Grueb, Davenport, for mother.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, Mike Wolf, County Attorney, and Cheryl J. Newport, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State. Jennifer Olsen, Davenport, for minor child.

Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Mullins, JJ. Tabor, J., takes no part.

OPINION

DANILSON, C.J.

The father appeals the termination of his parental rights. We conduct a de novo review of termination of parental rights proceedings. In re H.S., 805 N.W.2d 737, 745 (Iowa 2011).

A.P. was born in 2002. Due to allegations of sexual abuse by the mother's paramour, A.P. was removed from her mother's custody in January 2012, and child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceedings were commenced. After several unsuccessful placements, A.P. was placed in her current foster home. She is doing well in that pre-adoptive placement.[1]

The extent of the father's relationship was summarized in a June 25, 2013 foster care review board report,

Kathy [Kilburg, a department of human services (DHS) case manager] reported [A.P.] has never had contact with her biological father. She knows his name is Mike. When DHS initially become involved with the family [A.P.'s] father was invited to a family team meeting. Mike brought a birthday card and presents for [A.P.] Mike is now incarcerated for attempted murder and he has a lengthy criminal history.

On December 24, 2013, Mike's parental rights were terminated pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(b), (d), (e), and (f) (2013).[2] He now appeals.

The father does not contest any of the grounds for termination, which include abandonment and lack of significant and meaningful contact. See In re P.L., 778 N.W.2d 33, 40 (Iowa 2010) (" The first step in our analysis is to determine if a ground for termination exists under section 232.116(1). Because the father does not dispute the existence of the grounds . . ., we do not have to discuss this step." ). He contends only that termination is not in the child's best interest because he might be granted parole in the near future.

A.P. is now twelve years old. She has never had any contact with her biological father and has no bond with him. She is placed with a pre-adoptive family where she is doing well. Giving " primary consideration to the child's safety, to the best placement for furthering the long-term nurturing and growth of the child, and to the physical, mental, and emotional condition and needs of the child," Iowa Code § 232.116(2), we agree with the juvenile court that termination and adoption is in this child's best interests. See P.L., 778 N.W.2d at 41 (" It is well-settled law that we cannot deprive a child of permanency after the State has proved a ground for termination under section 232.116(1) by hoping someday a parent will learn to be a parent and be able to provide a stable home for the child." ). We therefore affirm.

AFFIRMED.


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