IN THE INTEREST OF L.P. and L.P., Minor Children, M.S., Mother, Appellant, Q.P., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Barbara H.
Liesveld, District Associate Judge.
mother and father separately appeal the termination of their
parental rights. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.
Katherine M. Hartman Eastvold, Coralville, for appellant
J. Bishop, Cedar Rapids, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meredith L. Lamberti,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
J. Butz of Butz Law Offices, P.C., Center Point, guardian ad
litem for minor children.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
mother and father of twins separately appeal the termination
of their parental rights.
Background Facts and Proceedings
and L.P., twins born in September 2016, came to the attention
of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), upon a denial
of critical care for multiple injuries each girl sustained in
December 2016. The children were removed in December 2016 and
were placed with their great-grandmother for several months.
The children were then placed in foster care in August 2017,
where they remained at the time of the termination hearing.
Since the removal, the mother and father sporadically
participated in services. The mother consistently attended
visitations, but she routinely disregarded the DHS's
policy allowing only pre-approved visitors around the
children. The DHS was adamant with its policy because the
cause of the girls' initial injuries was not definitively
known. The father completed a substance-abuse evaluation but
did not consistently visit with the children or attend
October 12, 2017, due to the parents' lack of progress in
attending to the circumstances that led to the DHS's
involvement, the State filed a petition to terminate the
parents' parental rights. The matter came on for hearing
on January 18 and 19, 2018. The district court left the
record open until March 22, 2018, when it received a final
witness for the State who was not available on the prior
hearing dates. On May 2, the district court ordered the
parents' parental rights terminated under Iowa Code
section 232.116(1)(h) and (i) (2017). The mother and father
II. Standard of Review
review termination proceedings de novo, giving weight to, but
not being bound by, the district court's fact findings.
In re M.W., 876 N.W.2d 212, 219 (Iowa 2016). There
must be clear and ...