IN THE INTEREST OF M.J.H.T., M.G.T., and M.D.T., Minor Children, C.T., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Craig
M. Dreismeier, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
M. Rohling of Rohling Law, P.L.L.C., Council Bluffs, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Ana Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Roberta Jean Penning Megal of Public Defender's Office,
Council Bluffs, guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her
parental rights. We hold the mother's parental rights
were properly terminated under Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(h) (2017) and that termination of the mother's
parental rights is in the children's best interests. We
affirm the decision of the juvenile court.
Background Facts and Proceedings
the mother of M.J.H.T. ("the oldest child"), born
in 2014, and M.G.T. and M.D.T. ("the twins"), born
in May 2016. At the time of the twins' birth, the mother
and the oldest child were living with the mother's mother
and step-father. The twins tested positive for amphetamines
and marijuana at their birth, and the mother tested positive
for methamphetamines and marijuana. Shortly after the
twins' birth, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
received a child protective services referral alleging the
mother used methamphetamine while pregnant with the twins.
DHS representatives met with the mother and her mother. At
the time, an application for ex-parte order of temporary
removal was filed with the juvenile court, the oldest child
was at home with a safety plan in place wherein the
mother's contact with the child was supervised by her
maternal grandmother. The twins remained in intensive care at
the hospital. A form ex-parte order for the temporary removal
of all three children was entered ordering the removal of the
children from their home and placing them in the temporary
care, custody, and control of the DHS. After the order was
entered, law enforcement removed the oldest child from her
maternal grandparents' home and transported her to a
shelter, where she spent less than twenty-four hours. She was
then placed with a maternal aunt. M.D.T. was discharged from
the hospital to a foster home. M.G.T. remained hospitalized
to address feeding issues. After a temporary removal hearing,
the juvenile court ordered "[t]hat the care, custody,
and control of [the oldest child] remain with maternal aunt,
subject to the supervision of the [DHS]." The care,
custody, and control of the twins was ordered to "remain
with the [DHS] for continued placement in
three children were later adjudicated children in need of
assistance (CINA). It was ordered that the care, custody, and
control of oldest child be placed with her maternal
grandparents. It was ordered that the care, custody, and
control of the twins remain with the DHS for continued
placement in foster care. This was the status quo at the time
of the termination of parental rights hearing.
the removal of her children, the mother attended a
drug-treatment program. After an unsuccessful discharge, the
mother twice attempted and twice failed to complete inpatient
substance-abuse treatment. When not residing in a treatment
facility, the mother lived place to place with no permanent
termination of parental rights hearing was held on July 11,
2017. Although the mother appeared in person at the hearing,
she did not testify. Subsequent to the hearing, the juvenile
court terminated the ...