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In re E.P.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 27, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF E.P., Minor Child, R.P., Father, Appellant, A.P., Mother, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Craig M. Dreismeier, District Associate Judge.

         A father and mother appeal separately from the order terminating their parental rights.

          Roberta J. Megel of the Public Defender's Office, Council Bluffs, for appellant father.

          Phil R. Caniglia, Council Bluffs, for appellant mother.

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

          Marti D. Nerenstone, Council Bluffs, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.

          DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE

         A mother and a father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights, which the juvenile court concluded was proper pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e), (f), (i), and (l) (2017). Because we find there are grounds for termination under section 232.116(1)(f), we affirm.[1]

         We review termination of parental rights proceedings de novo. See In re A.M., 843 N.W.2d 100, 110 (Iowa 2014).

         At the time of the termination trial on June 27, 2017, the child was seven years old. The department of human services (DHS) became involved with the mother and child in 2015 on a voluntary basis due to the mother's illegal substance abuse. The father was not in Iowa and did not participate in services, except some supervised visits one month. Unfortunately, the mother was not forthcoming about her substance abuse and need for treatment, and she again tested positive for illegal substances.

         The child was removed from the mother's custody in April 2016 due to the mother testing positive for methamphetamine. The child was placed with her maternal grandmother. The child was adjudicated a child in need of assistance (CINA) on May 25, 2016.

         The mother's testimony at the termination trial explains what happened next:

A. I believe my supervised visits started in August of 2016. I believe I had semi-supervised visits prior to that, if ...

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