IN THE INTERST OF D.W., D.W., and D.W., Minor Children, D.W., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, DeDra L.
father appeals from the order terminating his parental
Michael J. Moeller of Sorensen Law Office, Clear Lake, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Crystal L. Ely, of North Iowa Youth Law Center, Mason City,
for minor children.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
father appeals the juvenile court decision terminating his
parental rights to three children. We find the State offered
the father reasonable efforts, there was sufficient evidence
to terminate the father's rights, no exception to
termination applies, and termination is in the best interests
of the children. We affirm the district court.
Background Facts and Proceedings
Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) first became involved
with the father in 2013 after a number of child abuse
assessments. In 2015, DHS was notified the father was using
methamphetamine while caring for the children. The two older
children were adjudicated children in need of assistance
(CINA), though they remained in the father's care.
Substance-abuse counseling, drug testing, mental-health
treatment, and protective child care were all recommended by
DHS. In April 2016, the father contacted DHS and informed the
department he and the mother had relapsed and were using
illegal drugs. The younger child was then adjudicated CINA
and all three children were removed from the father's
father did not consistently attend visitation even when the
visitation was conducted in his home. Visitation was moved
from the father's home to another city. The father filed
a motion for lack of reasonable efforts, requesting increased
visitation and assistance with transportation to the visits.
The district court found DHS made reasonable efforts.
the case the father continued to struggle with substance,
alcohol, and domestic-abuse issues. During one incident the
father lit the mother's clothes on fire along with some
of the children's belongings, for which he was jailed.
The father failed to complete substance-abuse treatment, has
not consistently passed or taken drug tests, and has even
shaved his body hair in an attempt to thwart further testing.
father's parental rights were terminated on June 27,
2017. He now appeals.