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In re C.A.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 8, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF C.A., Minor Child, A.P., Mother, Petitioner-Appellee B.A., Father, Respondent-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Delaware County, Thomas J. Straka, Associate Juvenile Judge.

         A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his son.

          Cory R. Gonzales of Law Firm of Cory R. Gonzales P.L.L.C., Strawberry Point, for appellant father.

          Justin M. Vorwald of Ehrhardt, Gnagy, McCorkindale & Vorwald, Elkader, for appellee mother.

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

          VOGEL, Presiding Judge.

         A father's parental rights to his son, C.A., born 2012, were terminated under Iowa Code section 600A.8(3) (2016) after C.A.'s mother filed a petition for termination of parental rights. The father asserts both a lack of proof he abandoned his son and that termination is not in the child's best interests. On our de novo review, the mother carried her burden of proof on both issues, and we affirm the district court's ruling. In re R.K.B., 572 N.W.2d 600, 601 (Iowa 1998).

         I. Grounds for Termination under Iowa Code section 600A.8(3).

         The father claims the mother failed to prove he abandoned C.A. as provided in Iowa Code section 600A.8(3). That section provides in relevant part:

3. The parent has abandoned the child. For the purposes of this subsection, a parent is deemed to have abandoned a child as follows:
. . . .
b. If the child is six months of age or older when the termination hearing is held, a parent is deemed to have abandoned the child 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 ...

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