IN THE INTEREST OF Z.C., Minor Child, G.C., Father, Appellant, H.S., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J.
Tabor, District Associate Judge.
mother and father separately appeal the termination of their
parental rights to their child.
David Zimmerman, Clinton, for appellant father. Jennifer M.
Triner Olsen of Olsen Law Office, Davenport, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
P. Donnelly of Mayer, Lonergan & Rolfes, Clinton,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ. Tabor,
J., takes no part.
mother and father separately appeal the district court's
termination of their parental rights to their child, Z.C.
Both parents contend the State failed to prove by clear and
convincing evidence the grounds to terminate their parental
rights under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d), (g), (h), and
(i) (2018). The mother also asserts termination is not in the
child's best interests and that she has a strong bond
with Z.C, which should preclude termination. The father
asserts he should have been given additional time to work
towards reunification. Because the district court properly
terminated both parents' rights under paragraph (h), the
parents have unresolved substance-abuse and mental-health
issues resulting in Z.C. being unable to be placed in either
parent's care, termination is in Z.C.'s best
interests, and no factors preclude termination, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings
family came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS) in May 2017 after Z.C. was born prematurely
and tested positive for THC.Z.C. remained in the hospital
until July 10 due to complications from his premature birth,
including eating "spells" where he would lose
oxygen during feedings. Upon Z.C.'s discharge, he was
removed from the parents' care and placed with a
biological sibling in a foster home where he remained during
25, Z.C. was adjudicated CINA under Iowa Code section
232.2(6)(b), (c)(1), (c)(2), (g), (l), (n), and (o)
Z.C.'s removal, the DHS offered services to both parents.
The mother and father were required to obtain mental-health
and substance-abuse evaluations. They then sporadically
attended treatment for their mental-health and
substance-abuse issues. Further, the parents participated in
some parenting services until the end of November when they
stopped attending and ceased visitation with Z.C. After
neither parent exhibited sustained progress toward
reunification, January 18, 2018, the State petitioned to have
both parents' parental rights to Z.C. terminated. The
matter was heard on March 15, 2018, after which the
mother's and father's parental rights were terminated
under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d), (g), (h), and (i)
mother and father separately appeal.