IN THE INTEREST OF S.H., Minor Child, C.H., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Susan F.
Flaherty, Associate Juvenile Judge.
mother appeals from the order terminating her parental
Kristin L. Denniger, Cedar Rapids, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meredith L. Lamberti,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
G. Trachta of Linn County Advocate, Inc., Cedar Rapids,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.
DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.
mother appeals from the order terminating her parental rights
to S.H., pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h)
(2017). Finding no reason to disagree with the
juvenile court, we affirm.
child was born in February 2014. In May 2016, the mother came
to the attention of the department of human services (DHS)
after DHS received a report the mother was using
methamphetamine with the child present. The mother informed
DHS she had "sign[ed] over custody" of the child to
her father and stepmother. After the child-abuse assessment
was founded, the child was adjudicated a CINA on June 27,
2016, and a July 28, 2016 dispositional order placed the
child in the custody of DHS. The child was later placed in
another relative's home and has remained out of the
mother entered a residential treatment facility on February
2, 2017, and provided her first clean drug
test to DHS the next day-more than six months after the child
was removed from the mother's custody. A petition to
terminate the mother's parental rights was filed on
February 9, 2017.
April 21, the juvenile court did not proceed with a scheduled
permanency/termination hearing and allowed the mother
additional time to resume care of her child at the
recommendation of DHS. At a family team meeting held that
same date, a plan was developed pursuant to which the mother
would continue to comply with substance-abuse and
mental-health treatment and visits were to be extended to
overnights with the expectation that a trial home placement
would begin on May 15. Because the mother had a history of
allowing other people to be present during visits who
"may or may not be appropriate, " there was "a
specific expectation from the family team meeting that no
unapproved people be present [at visits] and that that would
impact [DHS's] ability to move forward with [the]
within the first two weekends of overnight visits with her
child, the mother "was allowing unapproved people to be
present during visits. She also took [the child] to the home
of people who had not been approved by the [DHS] to be
present." Moreover, the child began demonstrating
sexualized behavior while at daycare. Additionally, the mother
attended the funeral of her grandmother out of town from May
16-19. The drug patch placed on the mother on May 9 and
returned on May 22 tested positive for methamphetamine. The
mother asserted the patch was falling off so she removed it
and placed it in a small plastic bag on May 17. She denied
using methamphetamine and suggested the patch may have tested
positive because she had helped her boyfriend and his father
move items from storage sheds, the contents of which had been
purchased at an auction. She provided samples for urinalysis
on May 19 and May 22, both of which were negative for illegal
on the petition to terminate parental rights was held on June
2. The guardian ad litem recommended termination of parental
rights. So, too, did the social worker and the Family Safety,
Risk, and Permanency (FSRP) worker who worked with the
mother. As summarized by the FSRP worker, the
mother "just has not demonstrated that she can put
[S.H.] first as priority and maintain positive life
choices." Service providers observed the mother had been
given additional time to seek reunification but the
mother's expected progress had not been realized.
mother's stepmother also recommended termination of the
mother's rights, noting the mother's ...