IN THE INTEREST OF G.C., Minor Child, C.R., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Gary P.
Strausser, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals from the order terminating her parental
Timothy K. Wink of Schweitzer & Wink, Columbus Junction,
for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kristi A. Traynor, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State. Jeffrey L. Powell of
Law Office of Jeffrey L. Powell, Washington, guardian ad
litem for minor child.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and McDonald, JJ.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights,
arguing she should have been granted additional time to work
toward reunification. Upon our de novo review, see In re
A.M., 843 N.W.2d 100, 110 (Iowa 2014), we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
the mother of G.C., born in 2013. She has four other living
children, none of whom are in her care. Three of those
children were the subjects of two prior
child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) cases, in 2009 and 2011.
In the first case, services were provided to the family for
nine months, and the case was closed. In the second case,
services were again offered, but "[i]t took [the mother]
six months to start making progress." Ultimately, the
permanency goal in that case was changed to having C.R.'s
mother become the children's guardian. A guardianship was
subsequently created in August 2012, and the CINA case was
closed. C.R.'s mother is still the guardian of the three
children and does not allow C.R. to see them.
mother has struggled with mental-health issues most of her
life, and she has been prescribed medication and attended
therapy off and on since she was about fifteen years old. The
mother has also used illegal substances off and on since she
was twelve years old. She reported she first used
methamphetamine in the late '90s when she was seventeen,
about once [per] month for a period of about a year. She then
quit for three years. She started to use again [while she was
married to her then husband]. For three years, they would use
about twice a month. She quit again in 2003. She used for a
month in 2005 and quit again.
unclear whether she abused substances from 2005 to 2014, but
the prior CINA cases did not concern use of illegal
December 2015, it was reported that the mother was using
methamphetamine while caring for G.C. At that time, the
mother was on probation for her felony forgery conviction.
The mother initially denied she had used methamphetamine, but
she eventually admitted her use after she tested positive for
the substance. The child was placed in the care of his
paternal grandmother, where he has since remained.
mother agreed to participate in family-centered services
through the Iowa Department of Human Services (Department).
She also completed a substance-abuse evaluation, and it was
recommended she complete intensive outpatient treatment. She
began the treatment program but was kicked out of that
program shortly thereafter "because she brought someone
else's urine for a [drug test]." She then completed
a twenty-one day inpatient-treatment program in April 2016,
but after she was released, service providers and the
mother's probation officer suspected she was using again.
At her probation officer's recommendation, the mother was
placed in a halfway house, but then the mother ...