IN THE INTEREST OF I.P., Minor Child, J.P., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Jennifer
S. Bailey, District Associate Judge.
father appeals from the order terminating his parental
Jeffrey L. Powell of The Law Office of Jeffrey L. Powell,
P.L.C., Washington, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
R. Ruther of Aspelmeier, Fisch, Power, Engberg & Helling,
P.L.C., Burlington, for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.
DANILSON, Chief Judge.
father appeals from the termination of his parental rights to
his child, I.P., under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g) and
(h) (2016). The father asserts the district court
erred in terminating his parental rights, and requests six
additional months to work toward reunification. The father
also asserts termination is not in I.P.'s best interests
due to the parent-child bond. Because the father has failed
to comply with services and address his substance-abuse and
mental-health issues, we affirm the termination of his
parental rights to I.P.
Background Facts & Proceedings.
born September 2015, was removed from the care of her mother
and father on March 25, 2016, due to concerns that the mother
was using illegal substances while caring for the child.
Other concerns expressed by the department of human services
(DHS) were the history of domestic violence between the
mother and father, the parents' violation of a no-contact
order, substance abuse by the mother and the father,
unsuitable housing, and instability. The mother and
father's parental rights to an older child were
terminated in 2013 due to the same concerns.
I.P. was removed, the father exhibited slim participation
with DHS services. The father attended only two supervised
visits with I.P.; did not obtain a substance-abuse or
mental-health evaluation; did not seek substance abuse
treatment or abstain from the use of illegal
substances-reporting that he used methamphetamine during the
pendency of the child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA)
proceedings; failed to obtain safe and appropriate housing;
and failed to maintain steady employment. On August 17, 2016,
the district court entered a dispositional order granting the
State's motion to waive reasonable efforts. The court
[The father] has a long-standing battle with methamphetamine
addiction, has attempted and failed treatment multiple times,
and now claims that he has quit methamphetamine "cold
turkey." He has not even begun substance abuse services
and the court does not believe that he has any intention to.
He has mental health issues that were brought forth in the
prior case, but of which have not even been touched on in
[I.P.]'s case because he has refused mental health
services. He remains homeless and reliant upon the good grace
of others to stay in their home. He has not had any
meaningful visitation with [I.P.] since her removal, nor has
he taken advantage of the community resources and other
assistance offered by the FSRP provider. It is the
court's conclusion that [the father] could not address
these issues within any reasonable amount of time, so as to
allow him to raise his now infant daughter, because he has no
desire to change his life or participate in services.
petition for termination was filed on September 9, 2016, and
the termination hearing was held November 8, 2016. The court
entered an order terminating both parents' parental
rights to I.P. pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g)
and (h). The father now appeals.