IN THE INTEREST OF T.M. and C.M., Minor Children, B.W., Mother, Pettioner-Appellee, T.M., Father, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Gregg R.
father appeals the termination of his parental rights.
Moore of Mid-Iowa Mediation & Law, P.L.L.C., Ames, for
Richard N. Tompkins Jr. of Tompkins Law Office, Mason City,
William T. Morrison of Morrison Law Firm, P.C., Mason City,
guardian ad litem for minor children.
Danilson, C.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.
DANILSON, Chief Judge.
father appeals the termination of his parental rights to T.M.
and C.M.Because there is clear and convincing
evidence the father abandoned his children, as that term is
used in Iowa Code sections 600A.2(19) and 600A.8(3)(b), and
because termination is in the children's best interests,
review termination proceedings under chapter 600A de novo.
In re C.A.V., 787 N.W.2d 96, 99 (Iowa Ct. App.
2010). "We give deference to the factual findings of the
juvenile court, especially those relating to witness
credibility, but we are not bound by those
determinations." In re G.A., 826 N.W.2d 125,
127 (Iowa Ct. App. 2012). Our paramount consideration is the
best interests of the child. Iowa Code § 600A.1.
parent's rights may be terminated for abandoning a child.
Id. § 600A.8(3). To abandon a child "means
that a parent . . . rejects the duties imposed by the
parent-child relationship, . . . which may be evinced by the
person . . . making only a marginal effort to provide for the
support of the child or to communicate with the child."
Id. § 600A.2(19).
600A.8(3)(b) provides further that a child older than six
months is "deemed abandoned"
unless the parent maintains substantial and continuous or
repeated contact with the child as demonstrated by
contribution toward support of the child of a reasonable
amount, according to the parent's means, and as
demonstrated by any of the following:
(1) Visiting the child at least monthly when physically and
financially able to do so and when not prevented from doing
so by the person having lawful custody of the child.
(2)Regular communication with the child or with the person
having the care or custody of the child, when physically and
financially unable to visit the child or when prevented from
visiting the child by ...