IN THE INTEREST OF D.B., Minor Child, W.H., Mother, Petitioner-Appellee, N.B., Father, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Michael
G. Dieterich, District Associate Judge.
father appeals the termination of his parental rights.
William R. Monroe of the Law Office of William Monroe,
Burlington, for appellant father.
Michael D. Clark of Clark & Schroeder, P.L.L.C., North
Liberty, for appellee mother.
L. Wilkens of Wilkens Law Office, Fort Madison, for minor
Considered by Vogel, P.J., McDonald, J., and Mahan, S.J.
father appeals from the termination of his parental rights
under Iowa Code section 600A.8(3) (2015).
chapter 600A, the court is allowed to terminate parental
rights in the best interest of a child when a parent fails to
assume the duties arising from parenthood. Iowa Code §
600A.1. In a private termination-of-parental-rights
proceeding, the petitioner must establish by clear and
convincing evidence that a statutory ground for termination
exists, see id. § 600A.8, and that termination
of parental rights is in the child's best interests.
See id. § 600A.1.
mother and father of D.B., born in 2007, have never been
married. The father has paid no child support since September
2013 and is more than $8200 in arrears in his obligation. In
2015, the mother filed a petition to terminate the
father's parental rights, alleging he had abandoned the
child as that term is used in chapter 600A.8(3)(b).
relevant here, section 600A.8(3)(b) deems a parent to have
abandoned a child "unless the parent maintains
substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child
as demonstrated by contribution toward support of the child
of a reasonable amount, according to the parent's
means" and as demonstrated by either of the
(1) Visiting the child at least monthly when physically and
financially able to do so and when not prevented from doing
so by the person having lawful custody of the child.
(2)Regular communication with the child or with the person
having the care or custody of the child, when physically and
financially unable to visit the child or when prevented from
visiting the child by the person having lawful custody of the
the father's child-support obligation being reduced to
forty dollars per month,  the father has paid no support at all
since September 19, 2013. The record fully supports the
juvenile court's findings that the father does not have a
stable home; is not employed, though capable of some
employment; has not provided for the needs of the child; and
has not demonstrated any interest or ability to parent the
child. While the father testified he had a seizure disorder
that kept him from full-time employment, he acknowledged his
job loss in 2013 was the result of his boss being
"tired" of working around the father's child
visitation (which is one day ...