IN THE INTEREST OF L.G., Minor Child, A.S., Mother, Appellant J.G., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Susan F.
Flaherty, Associate Juvenile Judge.
father and mother separately appeal the juvenile court order
terminating their parental rights.
Katherine M. Hartman Eastvold, Coralville, for appellant
Kristin L. Denniger, Cedar Rapids, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Kimberly A. Opatz of Linn County Advocate, Inc., Cedar
Rapids, guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.
mother and father separately appeal the juvenile court
decision terminating their parental rights. We find there was
sufficient evidence to terminate parental rights, the
juvenile court properly declined to apply exceptions to
termination, and termination is in the best interests of the
child. We affirm the juvenile court.
Background Facts and Proceedings
mother began using drugs, primarily methamphetamine, around
age eleven, and the father also reported beginning to use
drugs in his early adolescence, including heroin and
methamphetamine. L.G. was born in June 2017. L.G. and the
mother tested positive for methamphetamine at the time of the
birth; the father would not consent to a drug test. L.G. was
removed from the parents on June 5 and placed in foster care.
L.G. was adjudicated a child in need of assistance on June 8.
mother has struggled with maintaining sobriety. She has
repeatedly tested positive for methamphetamine although she
participated in a variety of substance-abuse treatment
programs. The mother attended visits with L.G. consistently
and provided formula, diapers, and clothing for L.G. The
mother was in jail at the time of the termination hearing
with a pending probation revocation, along with new charges
of forgery and theft. She acknowledged she would not be able
to resume care of L.G. at the time of the hearing. The mother
also admitted her relationship with the father involved
instances of domestic violence, though both the mother and
father attempted to minimize its impact. The juvenile court
found the parents did not follow through on recommended
father refused to comply with drug testing at the time of the
birth. However, he later admitted to heroin and marijuana
use. Eventually, he completed a substance-abuse evaluation
and attended some treatment. Even after treatment he
continued to have positive drug screens, though he
consistently attended services. The father had a pending
charge of delivery of a controlled substance as a habitual
offender. By his own admission, he used heroin and
methamphetamine approximately one week before the termination
hearing but was adamant he was not addicted.
termination hearing was held December on 22. The parents'
parental rights were terminated on ...