IN THE INTEREST OF B.C.-W., Minor Child, K.W., Father, Appellant, S.W., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Mahaska County, Rose Anne
Mefford, District Associate Judge.
mother and father appeal separately the termination of their
parental rights. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.
R. Larson of Orsborn, Milani, Mitchell & Goedken, L.L.P.,
Ottumwa, for appellant father.
Cynthia D. Hucks of Box & Box, Ottumwa, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Ana Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
D. White-Reinier of White-Reinier Law Office, Sigourney,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and
father and mother appeal separately the termination of their
parental rights to their child, B.C.-W., born in February
2013. Both parents' rights were terminated pursuant to
Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2017). The mother argues
there is not clear and convincing evidence to support the
statutory grounds for termination and termination is not in
B.C.-W.'s best interests. The father argues service of
process for the termination petition with notice of hearing
date was improper, there is not clear and convincing evidence
to support the statutory grounds for termination, reasonable
efforts towards reunification were not made, and the court
erred in denying the father's requested continuance for
the hearing on permanency and termination.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
family has previously been involved with the Iowa Department
of Human Services (DHS) and the juvenile court. In July 2014,
B.C.-W. was adjudicated a child in need of assistance (CINA)
and removed from the home due to both parents' abuse of
methamphetamine. The parents completed substance-abuse
treatment, and B.C.-W. was returned to their care in November
March 2016, DHS again became involved after local law
enforcement indicated possible drug use in the home. The
parents attempted to evade DHS for more than two weeks.
B.C.-W. was removed from the home in April 2016 due to both
parents' use of methamphetamine.
parents have successfully completed substance-abuse treatment
and have remained sober throughout these proceedings. Both
parents have also participated in reunification services,
including: DHS case management; family safety, risk, and
permanency (FSRP) services; parent partner; family team
meetings; substance-abuse evaluation and treatment;
psychological evaluations; couples counseling; play therapy
for B.C.-W.; Wapello Family Treatment Court; parent child
interaction therapy (PCIT); strengthening families; parents
as teachers; and families and children together.
even though the parents have participated in services and
remained sober, serious concerns remained at the time of the
termination hearing. While the parents have participated in
PCIT since April 2017, neither parent had mastered the
introductory level. According to FSRP workers, the parents
have not demonstrated progress since May 2017 and are still
unable to parent the child adequately after participation in
services since April 2016. The parents' attitude toward