IN THE INTEREST OF S.W., Minor Child, E.W., Father, Appellant, T.A., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Emmet County, Ann M. Gales,
District Associate Judge.
mother and father appeal separately from the termination of
their parental rights to their minor child.
Michael H. Johnson of Johnson Law Firm, Spirit Lake, for
Bethany J. Verhoef Brands of Brands Law Office, Spirit Lake,
for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and David M. Van Compernolle,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Shannon L. Sandy of Sandy Law Firm, P.C., Spirit Lake,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
mother filed a petition on appeal stating, "The mother .
. . seeks reversal of the juvenile court order terminating
her parental rights with respect to her daughter S.W.
only if the Court reverses the juvenile court
[order] terminating the parental rights of the father."
The mother maintains her consent to the termination of her
rights was conditioned upon the termination of the
father's parental rights. See Iowa Code §
232.116(1)(a) (2016). However, the mother's parental
rights were terminated on additional grounds as well. See
id. § 232.116(1)(g), (h). Yet the mother does not
challenge the other statutory grounds, claim termination is
not in S.W.'s best interests, nor ask us to apply a
permissive factor in subsection (3) to save the parent-child
relationship. Without further consideration, the termination
of the mother's parental rights to S.W. is affirmed.
See In re J.J.A., 580 N.W.2d 731, 740 (Iowa 1998)
(refusing to consider issues that have not been properly
raised); see also Iowa Ct. R. 21.26(e).
father maintains the State has not proven (1) the statutory
grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence and
(2) termination is in S.W.'s best interests. He also
challenges the court's finding that the State made
reasonable efforts to reunify him with S.W., and the ruling
denying his motion to reopen the record.
A. Background Facts and Proceedings.
Iowa Department of Humans Services (DHS) became involved with
this family almost immediately after S.W.'s birth, in May
2014, because the mother's parental rights to three other
children had already been terminated. DHS began offering a