from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Virginia
Cobb, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals from the termination of her parental rights.
Magdalena B. Reese of Cooper, Goedicke, Reimer, & Reese,
P.C., West Des Moines, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Ana Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Stratton of Juvenile Public Defender Office, Des Moines,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
mother appeals from the termination of her parental rights to
her child, B.B. B.B. was born in February 2016 and was
immediately removed from the mother's care due to ongoing
concerns regarding the mother's ability to care for her
children; her rights to her three older children had been
terminated in December 2015.
Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) had become involved
with the family in 2014. At the time, the mother demonstrated
she was unable to care for a baby; she was not meeting the
child's dietary needs as evidenced by inconsistent
feedings and providing baby food to the baby before the child
was ready. It was recommended the mother take a parenting
class. She did not do so. Additionally, the mother was living
with B.B.'s father, and there was a history of domestic
violence in the relationship. Neither parent was able to set
appropriate boundaries in their relationships. The department
also had concerns about the mother's instability, which
manifested itself in a number of ways, including inconsistent
housing and employment and unresolved mental-health issues.
B.B.'s removal in February 2016, the mother was told she
needed to attend therapy to work through her history of
domestic violence with the father; additionally, she needed
to process what a healthy relationship looked like. The
mother was also told it was important for her to gain
parenting skills, including being able to demonstrate
knowledge about a young child's nutrition needs.
termination hearing in April 2017,  the mother testified she had
not taken a parenting class. She also admitted she and the
father had remained in a relationship throughout the entire
pendency of the case, ending only one week before her
testimony on April 4. The mother (and father) had lied to
everyone involved regarding the status of their relationship.
While the father continued to deny they had maintained their
relationship, the mother provided text messages the two had
sent each other as recently as March 2017 that corroborated
her account. The mother had attended therapy at times in the
preceding fourteen months, although she was not engaged in it
at the time of the termination hearing. She had yet to
address her history of domestic violence-both because she was
being dishonest about the status of her relationship and
because, according to her, when she tried to discuss it she
would "just break down." The mother attended only
two visits in February and none in March leading up to the
April termination hearing. Additionally, the family safety,
risk, and permanency provider testified the mother often
needed to be told the same information multiple times,
including information about nutrition, over-feeding, and what
foods were appropriate. When asked, the provider could not
say whether the mother was unable to retain the information
or if she chose to disregard it.
juvenile court terminated the mother's parental rights to
B.B. pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d), (g), and
(h) (2016). Here, the mother challenges the evidence
supporting each of the three statutory grounds. We may affirm
the termination if we find clear and convincing evidence to
support any one of the grounds. See In re M.W., 876
N.W.2d 212, 222 (Iowa 2016). We review the proceedings de
novo, meaning we review both the facts and the law and then
adjudicate rights anew. In re J.C., 857 N.W.2d 495,
500 (Iowa 2014).
consider the sufficiency of the evidence under Iowa Code
section 232.116(1)(g). The mother challenges only the final two
prongs-namely that she is unable or unwilling to respond to
services and that additional services would not correct the
situation. The mother had made some positive steps prior to
the termination hearing. She reported she had recently moved
in with her parents and was receiving support from them to
"get on her feet." The mother was also seeing
someone for medication management and was taking a
prescription to help with her anxiety and depression,
although she was still "having [her] ups and
the mother had yet to address in any meaningful way the
issues that led to the termination of her rights to her other
three children in December 2015. The mother had yet to take a
parenting class, although it had been recommended since DHS
got involved with the family in 2014. And she had not learned
the parenting skills elsewhere; as noted, the mother still
needed to be redirected when it came to feeding B.B. at
visits. Additionally, the mother had not addressed her
history of domestic violence and had secretly remained in a
relationship with the father throughout the pendency of the
case. At trial, she admitted that when she showed up to a
family team meeting in July 2016 with two black eyes, it was
the father who had caused them. Yet she remained with him
until March 2017. And although the mother testified
"this time [she is] officially done" with the
father, we see no reason to believe she will not change her
mind again. She had yet to work with her former therapist on
her issues with domestic violence. Additionally, the