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In re I.G.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 25, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF I.G., D.G., and T.G., Minor Children, K.G., Mother, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Karen Kaufman Salic, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her parental rights. AFFIRMED.

          Elizabeth A. Batey of Vickers Law Office, Greene, for appellant.

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

          Cynthia S. Schuknecht of Noah, Smith, Schuknecht & Sloter, P.L.C., Charles City, guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her parental rights. We find there is sufficient evidence in the record to support termination of the mother's parental rights and termination is in the children's best interests. We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         K.G. is the mother of three children, I.G., D.G., and T.G., born in 2012, 2013, and 2016.[1] The family came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services after an incident of domestic abuse by the father. The children were removed from the parents' care on May 31, 2016, when the mother was arrested and she left the children in the care of friends who were using drugs. Testing showed the mother had also used methamphetamine. The children were placed in foster care.

         The children were adjudicated to be in need of assistance under Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(2)(c) (2016). The mother was inconsistent in attending services and was unsuccessfully discharged from treatment for substance abuse. She obtained housing and employment, completed a new substance abuse evaluation, and scheduled an appointment for a mental health evaluation. After a permanency hearing on November 15, 2016, the juvenile court determined she should have additional time to work on reunification with the children. Shortly thereafter, the mother tested positive for methamphetamine.

         The mother was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. She remained inconsistent in her participation in services and did not follow through with treatment for substance abuse. A social worker noted, "she only seems to be engaged when there is a court date set to discuss permanency."

         On March 31, 2017, the State filed a petition seeking to terminate the parents' rights. After the petition was filed, the mother made progress in substance abuse treatment, moved to a new home, obtained employment, and stated she ended her relationship with a recent paramour. She continued to be inconsistent in attending individual therapy sessions. The foster mother reported the children had strong adverse behaviors after visits with the mother.

         The juvenile court terminated the mother's parental rights pursuant to section 232.116(1)(f) (I.G.), (g), and (h) ...


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