IN THE INTEREST OF J.R., Minor Child, A.J, Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Susan F.
Flaherty, Associate Juvenile Judge.
mother appeals from the order terminating her parental
J. Butz of Butz Law Offices, P.C., Center Point, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kristi A. Traynor, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
R. Ramsey-Kacena, Cedar Rapids, for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
mother appeals the order terminating her parental
rights. She claims the State did not make
reasonable efforts toward reunification, the evidence was not
sufficient to terminate her parental rights, and termination
is not in the child's best interests. We find the State
did make reasonable efforts toward reunification, the
evidence to support termination was sufficient, and
termination is in the child's best interests. We affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings
was born in December 2005. The Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS) became involved with the family in January
2007, due to the condition of the mother's house. J.R.
and his half-siblings were removed from the home. J.R. was
adjudicated a child in need of assistance (CINA) on January
22. The mother was able to secure a suitable living
arrangement in early 2008 and the children were returned in
February. However, the children were once again removed in
October, again due to the condition of the house. J.R. and
his half-siblings were eventually placed with K.C.,
J.R.'s legal father.
mother maintained a bond with the children and was granted
visitation. However, she continued to struggle to maintain
proper and suitable housing. During the case she has had
extended periods of homelessness, including during the fall
of 2016 when she lived in her van with her boyfriend and two
2014, J.R. was the only child still living with K.C. K.C. and
his girlfriend ended their relationship, and K.C. moved with
J.R. to a camper. J.R. was allowed by K.C. to live with the
father's friends, and has been in their care continuously
since May 2015. The State filed an application to modify
disposition. K.C. was allowed time to attempt to establish
appropriate living conditions. However, on February 8, 2016,
J.R.'s legal custody was placed with DHS for foster
family care with the father's friends.
mother secured housing approximately two months before trial.
However, the property had not been examined by DHS, the
mother was not included on the lease, and DHS had not
investigated the background of the friend the mother lives
with. The mother has a history of involvement with unsafe
individuals, including sex offenders.
termination hearing was held on December 19, 2016. The
mother's parental rights were terminated ...