IN THE INTEREST OF M.P. and J.S., Minor Children, H.P., Mother of M.P., Appellant, A.S., Mother of J.S., Appellant, J.S., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Gary P.
Strausser, District Associate Judge.
appeal the termination of their respective parental rights.
J. Neary of Neary Law Office, Muscatine, for appellant mother
Timothy K. Wink of Schweitzer & Wink Law Firm, Columbus
Junction, for appellant mother A.S.
D. Lamping of Lamping Schlegel & Salazar, L.L.P.,
Washington, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meredith Lamberti, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Elizabeth Araguas of Nidey Erdahl Fisher Pilkington &
Meier, P.L.C., Cedar Rapids, guardian ad litem for minor
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.
father appeals the termination of his parental rights to two
children. The mother of each child separately appeals the
termination of her parental rights to her respective child.
We review their claims de novo. See In re A.M., 843
N.W.2d 100, 110 (Iowa 2014).
Termination of the Father's Parental Rights.
father objects to termination of parental rights with respect
to J.S.'s mother and asks that court to place both
children in her care. The father may not challenge the
termination of another parent's rights. See,
e.g., In re L.J., No. 12-1410, 2012 WL 4513813,
at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2012) (citing In re
D.G., 704 N.W.2d 454, 460 (Iowa Ct. App. 2005) (holding
one parent cannot argue facts or legal positions pertaining
to the other parent) and In re K.R., 737 N.W.2d 321,
323 (Iowa Ct. App. 2007) (determining a father did not have
standing to raise arguments on the mother's behalf in an
effort to obtain a reversal of the termination of his
appeal, the father seeks an additional six months. Time
"is a critical element" in termination proceedings,
and after the statutory time period for termination has
passed, termination is viewed with a sense of urgency. In
re C.B., 611 N.W.2d 489, 495 (Iowa 2000). Children are
not equipped with pause buttons. See In re T.J.O.,
527 N.W.2d 417, 422 (Iowa Ct. App. 1994) ("Children
simply cannot wait for responsible parenting. Parenting
cannot be turned off and on like a spigot. It must be
constant, responsible, and reliable."); In re
D.A., 506 N.W.2d 478, 479 (Iowa Ct. App. 1993)
("The crucial days of childhood cannot be suspended
while parents experiment with ways to face up to their own
problems."). Before the court can grant a parent
additional time, there must be an assurance that the need for
removal will no longer exist at the end of that time period.
See Iowa Code § 232.104(2)(b). Considering the
father's lack of progress during the two-year-long
child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceedings, we are
unconvinced that this would be the case here. See
C.B., 611 N.W.2d at 495 ("Insight for the
determination of the child's long-range best interests
can be gleaned from 'evidence of the parent's past
performance for that ...