IN THE INTEREST OF R.S., Minor Child, C.S., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Montgomery County, Amy L.
Zacharias, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals from the order terminating her parental
M. Hart of Reisinger, Booth & Associates P.C. L.L.O,
Omaha, Nebraska, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
L. Mailander of Mailander Law Office, Anita, for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her
parental rights. We find there is sufficient evidence to
support termination of the mother's rights pursuant to
Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2016). Accordingly, we
affirm the juvenile court.
Background Facts and Proceedings
child, who was less than a year old, came to the attention of
the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) on April 15,
2016, due to reports the parents could not properly care for
the child. The family lived in a small camper which was
disorganized and littered with items that presented safety
concerns for the child. The living space was too small for
the child to achieve developmental goals, including rolling
over; the camper had a small space heater that presented a
fire hazard as it was sitting on a pile of debris; and there
was food rotting on the counter. The mother also showed a
dangerous lack of judgment in evaluating the child's
safety. During one visit she allowed the child to hold a
knife and "help carve" a pumpkin. She also allowed
the child to play with toys inappropriate for his age.
mother and father's relationship was sporadic and
included domestic abuse. The mother and father eventually
separated, lived apart, and ultimately divorced. The mother
does not have a valid driver's license, was unemployed
for the majority of the case, and her new home was never
approved for visits.
mother did complete a mental-health evaluation but only took
steps to follow through with the recommendations shortly
before the termination hearing. The mother did not
consistently take her medication. When she did not take her
medication she admitted she was "flipping out." The
mother began a new relationship near the end of the case but
was upset when she learned she would need to participate in
couple's counseling and would need her new paramour to
complete a mental-health evaluation.
child was placed with a paternal aunt and uncle after removal
and has continued to live with them. The mother did not
consistently take advantage of the visitation or telephone
contact offered her. The termination hearing took place on
April 7, 2017, and an order terminating the mother's
parental rights was entered on April 10. The mother now