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In re A.S.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 22, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF A.S., Minor Child, R.S., Mother, Appellant, T.S., Father, Appellant.

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

         A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.

          Cory R. Gonzales of Law Office of Cory R. Gonzales, Strawberry Point, for appellant mother.

          Matthew W. Boleyn of Reynolds & Kenline, L.L.P., Dubuque, for appellant father.

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

          Daniel H. Swift of Swift Law Firm, Manchester, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

          VOGEL, Presiding Judge.

         The mother and father of A.S., born April 2015, separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         A.S. came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) in July 2016, upon allegations the mother was using illegal substances. She admitted to using methamphetamine but refused to be drug tested. The results of a hair-stat test conducted on both the father and A.S. were positive for methamphetamine. The mother denied A.S.'s safety was compromised by the drug use because the parents had already voluntarily placed A.S. with his paternal grandmother after A.S. tested positive for high levels of lead in his system due to lead paint within the home. He has remained in the grandmother's care since that time and was adjudicated in need of assistance on October 27, 2016, upon the stipulation that the parents had issues with substance abuse.[1]

         Over the course of the next many months, DHS offered extensive services to both parents. With no sustained progress towards reunification, the State petitioned to have both parent's parental rights terminated. The matter came on for hearing on July 25 and August 23, 2017, after which the mother's and father's parental rights were both terminated under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) and (l) (2017).

         II. Standard of Review

         We review termination proceedings de novo, giving weight to but not being bound by the district court's fact findings. In re M.W., 876 N.W.2d 212, 219 (Iowa 2016). There must be clear and ...


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