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In re A.G.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 11, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF A.G., R.G., and K.H., Minor Children, C.B., Father, Appellant, T.G.-H., Mother, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Angela L. Doyle, District Associate Judge.

         The mother and one of the fathers appeal from the termination of their parental rights. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.

          Douglas E. Cook of Cook Law Office, Jewell, for appellant father of A.G.

          Neven J. Conrad of Baker, Johnsen, Sandblom & Lemmenes, Humboldt, for appellant mother.

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

          Derek J. Johnson of Johnson & Bonzer, P.L.C., Fort Dodge, guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, JUDGE

         The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her three children, A.G., born in 2011;[1] R.G., born in 2014; and K.H., born in 2015.[2] The mother claims the State failed to establish the statutory grounds for termination. Alternatively, she maintains the children could be returned to her care if she was given an additional six months to work toward reunification. The mother also argues termination of her parental rights is not in the children's best interests.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) became involved with this family in August 2014, when R.G. was born with THC in his system. Neither A.G., who was two years old at the time, nor R.G. was immediately removed from the mother's care. Instead, the mother agreed to and began receiving daily in-home "safety services." The mother also agreed to complete drug treatment, receive a mental-health evaluation, maintain a home with appropriate cleanliness, and continue to meet with DHS.

         By late October, DHS received reports the mother had failed to attend twelve of her outpatient treatments and was refusing to attend support meetings or parenting classes. The mother also refused to be supervised during a drug test, so she was allowed to proceed unsupervised. However, the temperature of the urine was not within normal range, and the test was considered invalid. Providers in the home noted it was cluttered, with food and clothing all over the floor.

         In early November, the mother told the social worker she wanted to be done with services and did not want any providers to come back. She was discharged from drug treatment for lack of progress and lack of attendance. The mother refused to speak to the social worker ...


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