IN THE INTEREST OF K.B. and K.B., Minor Children, T.B., Father, Appellant, B.B., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J.
Tabor, Associate Juvenile Judge.
father and mother separately appeal from the order
terminating their parental rights. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.
Charles F. Elles, Bettendorf, for appellant father.
Matthew A. Quinn of the Law Office of Matthew Quinn,
Bettendorf, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathrine S. Miller-Todd
(until withdrawal) and Kristi Ann Traynor, Assistant
Attorneys General, for appellee State.
Rena Purcell of Clemens, Walters, Conlon, Runde & Hiatt,
L.L.P., Dubuque, for minor children.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Bower,
JJ. Tabor, J., takes no part.
mother and father separately appeal the juvenile court
decision terminating their parental rights. They claim (1)
the evidence was insufficient to support termination; (2) the
children had not been removed from the parents for six
months; and (3) termination is not in the children's best
interest. We find the evidence is sufficient to terminate,
the juvenile court properly determined the children had been
removed for six months, and termination is in the
children's best interest. Accordingly, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings
children, K.B. (born in 2013) and K.B. (born in 2014), came
to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services
(DHS) after it was alleged the mother was under the influence
of controlled substances, the children lacked adequate
supervision, both parents failed to obtain recommended
medical treatment, the older child had a large unexplained
burn which neither parent knew the cause of, the children
were not being properly bathed, and marijuana was being used
in the home while the children were present. Both parents
tested positive for marijuana, though they denied using it in
the presence of the children. The mother has been diagnosed
with a mild intellectual disability and generalized anxiety
disorder. The father was also diagnosed with a generalized
anxiety disorder and bipolar II disorder.
parents agreed to a voluntary relative placement with a
maternal aunt of the children on April 15, 2016.
Approximately a month later, the maternal aunt asked for the
children to be removed as she was experiencing difficulty
with her pregnancy. The parents then agreed to a voluntary
foster care placement on May 27, and the juvenile court
placed the children in the custody of DHS on May 31.
parents were offered visitation but neither parent attended
even half of the allotted times. Both parents gave a variety
of excuses, including work, lack of transportation, and
illness. However, the provider testified a "good
portion" of the visits were missed because of the
parents' failure to confirm them.
although substance abuse was a concern for both parents,
neither attended substance-abuse treatment nor underwent a
substance abuse evaluation. Both parents were, at best,
sporadic in their compliance with mental health
recommendations. The mother's medical benefits lapsed
several times during the pendency of the case and she was
unable to find coverage for services required under the
parenting plan. The father's medical benefits also lapsed
during the pendency of the trial, for which he had not
reapplied. The parents had also not complied with the