IN THE INTEREST OF T.S., Minor Child, S.S., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Barbara H.
Liesveld, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
Jessica L. Wiebrand, Cedar Rapids, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Ana Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Kimberly A. Opatz of Linn County Advocate, Cedar Rapids,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and McDonald, JJ.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
child, T.S., born 2013. The district court found clear and
convincing evidence supported termination under Iowa Code
section 232.116(1)(g) and (h) (2017), termination was in the
child's best interests, and there were no impediments to
termination. On our de novo review, we agree and
affirm. See In re A.M., 843 N.W.2d 100,
110 (Iowa 2014).
Grounds for Termination.
mother claims the State failed to prove the statutory grounds
for termination by clear and convincing evidence.
mother has a long history with the Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS) and with the district court, as her parental
rights to her two older children were terminated in early
2013. T.S. was born with cocaine in her system, and the DHS
removed her from the home and placed her in family foster
care shortly after her birth. Following some success with
complying with offered services, T.S. was returned to the
mother's care in March 2015. Just one year later, DHS
workers went to the home and found it in deplorable
condition- infested with roaches and marked by visible piles
of dog feces. The mother admitted she needed to wake up
several times at night to wipe roaches off another
child's face. The mother suffers from an unspecified
anxiety disorder and has not cooperated with mental-health
services or recommended medication management. In addition,
she continues to associate with various men who have been
described as "unsafe" to be around the child. While
the mother claims to be free of illegal drugs, the report
submitted at the termination hearing reveals more than
twenty-five "no shows" to drug testing from
mid-March 2015 until mid-October 2016.
district court found the mother "has had an endless
amount of services, support, and help to maintain the
suitability of her home, " but as the DHS worker
testified, the mother simply "goes through the
motions" and does not make any progress in understanding
how to safely care for her child. In finding the State had
proved the grounds for termination under Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(g) and (h) the court stated:
[The mother] chooses to not take care of problems and issues
without the direct help of service providers and only after
conditions get to the point where it is unsafe for the
children. After the most recent two and one-half years of
services, [the mother] continues to struggle with the