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In re B.B.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 21, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF B.B., C.B., and D.B. Minor Child, D.A, Mother, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her parental rights. AFFIRMED.

          Sarah E. Dewein of Cunningham & Kelso, P.L.L.C, Urbandale, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Michael R. Sorci of Youth Law Center, Des Moines, guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her parental rights to three of her five children.[1] We find there is sufficient evidence to support termination of the mother's rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d) (2016). We also find termination is in the best interests of the children, no additional time should be granted, and no exceptions apply to preclude termination. Accordingly, we affirm the juvenile court.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The three children involved in this appeal came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) July 14, 2015, due to reports of the mother's substance abuse and her husband's, the father of some of the children, incarceration. Removal was ordered three days later and the children were placed with their maternal grandmother.

         Prior to removal the family often moved, sometimes staying in motels. The children were repeatedly exposed to the parents' use of methamphetamine and marijuana. The children also reported the parents would watch pornography and have sex while the children were in the room. Additionally, the father was violent, the mother was unable to protect the children from the father, and the mother struck the children.

         When the children were removed, the mother was homeless. During much of the underlying child in need of assistance (CINA) proceedings, the mother was unable to be located. The mother had substance abuse issues but did not complete treatment. The mother diagnosed herself with depression but she took no steps to address her mental-health concerns. Occasionally, the mother would shower at the grandmother's home but participated in no other visitation nor did she show an interest in the children's therapy.

         The mother now claims she is employed part-time and has stable housing, but at the time of the termination hearing, DHS had been unable to verify her claims. At the time of the termination hearing DHS also had concerns about abusive behavior between the mother and her paramour. The mother claims DHS was unresponsive and did not properly support her attempts to improve herself.

         The termination hearing was held September 15, 2016, and the mother's parental rights were terminated ...


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