IN THE INTEREST OF T.H. Jr., A.R., A.C., and A.K., Minor Child, R.K., Father, Appellant, T.H., Father, Appellant K.K., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Steven J.
Holwerda, District Associate Judge.
mother and two fathers appeal the termination of their
P. O'Toole, Des Moines, for appellant-father R.K.
L. Wilson-Moore of Wilson Law Firm, for appellant-father T.H.
Tullar of Tullar Law Firm, P.L.C., Des Moines, for
M. Langmaid-Keller of Keller Law Office P.C., Altoona,
attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Ana Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
the mother of four children-A.C., born 2005; A.R., born 2010;
T.H. Jr., born 2014; and A.K., born 2015-appeals the
termination of her parental rights. Two of the four fathers
also appeal: T.H. appeals the termination of his rights to
T.H. Jr., and R.K. appeals the termination of his rights to
children were initially removed from the home in December
2015, after the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) was
informed A.R., then four years of age, had set herself on
fire, resulting in burns over twenty-one percent of her body.
In addition, A.R. tested positive for methamphetamine. At the
time, the mother was living with T.H., who was known to be
abusive and an active drug user, which posed a threat to all
the children. The children were returned to the mother a few
months later but removed again on June 2, 2016, on
allegations that inappropriate people were living in the home
with access to the children, and that the mother was selling
marijuana. The mother then tested positive for
methamphetamine. On September 1, the mother was arrested on
drug and weapons-related charges and remained in jail until
the mother's failure to follow through with the extensive
reunification services offered to her, the State filed a
petition to terminate her parental rights as well as the
fathers' rights to their respective children. The matter
came on for hearing on June 30 and July 21, 2017, after which
the mother's parental rights were terminated under Iowa
Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2017) as to A.C. and A.R., (h) as
to T.H. Jr. and A.K., and (e) as to all four
children. T.H.'s and R.K.'s parental rights
were both terminated under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e)
and (h). The mother and the two fathers appeal.
review termination of parental rights proceedings de novo,
giving deference to the district court's findings but not
being bound by them. In re C.B., 611 N.W.2d 489, 492
fathers, T.H. and R.K., request we reverse the findings of
the district court under section 232.116(1)(e). As neither
contests the findings made under (h), we affirm the
termination of both father's parental rights under that
subsection. See Hyler v. Garner, 548 N.W.2d 864, 870
(Iowa 1996) ("[O]ur review is confined to those
propositions relied upon by the appellant for reversal on
appeal."). Even if we were to address the terminations
under the preserved issue of section 232.116(1)(e), we would
affirm as the record fully supports the conclusion that
neither father maintained "significant and meaningful
contact" over the course of their ...