IN THE INTEREST OF A.W. and T.W., Minor Children, K.W., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Barbara H.
Liesveld, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals a juvenile court removal order.
Jeannine L. Roberts, Cedar Rapids, for appellant mother.
M. Railsback of Railsback Law Office, Cedar Rapids, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
G. Trachta of Linn County Advocate, Inc., Cedar Rapids,
guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor,
mother appeals a juvenile court order removing A.W., born
December 2005, and T.W., born November 2010, from her
custody. The mother claims the children should have remained
in her custody under Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
supervision and she should have been relieved from
sweat-patch testing due to skin irritation.
and T.W. were brought to the attention of DHS in July 2016
due to concerns of drug abuse and domestic violence between
the father and mother. Both parents admit to regular cocaine
use prior to March 2016. The children were adjudicated
children in need of assistance (CINA) in September 2016. The
father and mother are separated, and the mother lives with
her parents. Prior to the children's removal, the parents
shared care of the children.
December, the children were removed after the mother
submitted a sweat patch that tested positive for cocaine. The
mother denied drug use and claimed the patch had fallen off
and was contaminated. The children were returned to her care
on May 1, 2017. On May 11, the children were again removed
from their mother's care due to a positive sweat-patch
test. The children's removal was reviewed in an October
hearing, and the court ordered custody of the children remain
with their father. The mother appeals.
mother argues the court erred in finding the children could
not remain in the mother's home. See Iowa Code
§ 232.102 ("Custody of the child should not be
transferred unless the court finds there is clear and
convincing evidence that . . . [t]he child cannot be
protected from some harm which would justify the adjudication
of the child as a [CINA]." She argues there is not clear
and convincing evidence of her continued drug use. The mother
argues the court should not have relied upon her positive
sweat-patch tests as sufficient proof of cocaine use but
instead should have relied on her negative urine analyses
(UAs) and hair test.
review of an order arising out of a CINA proceeding is de
novo. In re K.B., 753 N.W.2d 14, 15 (Iowa 2008). In
reviewing the proceedings, we are not bound by the juvenile
court's fact findings; however, we do give them weight.
In re J.S., 846 N.W.2d 36, 40 (Iowa 2014). "Our
primary concern is the children's best interests."
Id. "Evidence is clear and convincing when
there is no serious or substantial doubt as to the
correctness [of] conclusions of law drawn from the
evidence." In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 706
(Iowa 2010) (citations omitted).
mother contests the reliability of sweat-patch testing. Since
November 2016, the mother has tested positive for cocaine use
on six sweat-patch tests. She refused sweat-patch testing
after August 2017. A sweat-patch test involves an absorbent
pad placed on clean skin and sealed to the skin with an
adhesive. The patch then remains on the body for a period of
days. The mother contests her positive sweat-patch results
because she ...