IN THE INTEREST OF A.G. and R.G., Minor Children, M.G., Mother, Appellant, D.A., Father of R.G., Appellant, T.P., Father of A.G., Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Page County, Amy L.
Zacharias, District Associate Judge.
mother and two fathers separately appeal the termination of
their parental rights.
R. Wyatt of Woods & Wyatt, P.L.L.C., Glenwood, for
M. Hart of Reisinger Booth and Associations, P.C., L.L.O.,
Omaha, Nebraska, for appellant father D.A.
Kenneth Whitacre of C. Kenneth Whitacre Law Office, Glenwood,
for appellant father T.P.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and John B. McCormally,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
R. Danley, Sidney, guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
mother of R.G., born in 2014, and A.G., born in 2016, appeals
the termination of her parental rights. R.G.'s father
appeals the termination of his parental rights to R.G., and
A.G.'s father appeals the termination of his parental
rights to A.G.
Background Facts and Proceedings
family came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS) most recently in April 2017 due to allegations
the mother was using methamphetamine while taking care of the
children. Previously, R.G. was adjudicated a child in need of
assistance (CINA) in February 2016 in Montgomery County upon
concerns the mother was using methamphetamine. The DHS
offered the mother services including substance-abuse
treatment, mental-health evaluations, and family programs.
A.G. was born in May 2016, and for approximately one year,
the mother attended services sporadically, but sufficiently
enough to have the CINA case closed in February 2017. The
mother's success was short-lived as the DHS removed the
children from their mother's care in April 2017 upon
allegations the mother was again using methamphetamine while
caring for the children. The DHS placed R.G. with the
maternal cousins with whom she had previously stayed during
the DHS's first involvement. A.G. was initially placed
with the maternal grandmother but later transitioned to
placement with the maternal cousins and R.G.
8, 2017, the children were adjudicated CINA under Iowa Code
section 232.2(6)(c)(2) and (n) (2017). Reunification services
were offered to all three parents.
State filed a petition for termination of all three
parents' parental rights on December 28, 2017, after no
parent demonstrated sufficient compliance or progress to be
able to care for the children. After a February 15, 2018
hearing, at which all three parents testified, the district
court entered an order terminating the parental rights of the
mother, R.G.'s father, and A.G.'s father pursuant to
Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e) and (h) (2017).
mother and both fathers appeal.
Standard of Review
review termination of parental rights proceedings de novo,
giving deference to the district court's findings but not
being bound by them. ...