IN THE INTEREST OF E.B., Minor Child, D.B., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Adam D.
Sauer, District Associate Judge.
father appeals a juvenile court order terminating his
Barbara J. Westphal, Belmond, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Crystal L. Ely of McGuire Law Firm, Mason City, guardian ad
litem for minor child.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor,
father, Daniel, challenges the order terminating his legal
relationship to his eight-year-old son, E.B. On appeal,
Daniel asks for an additional six months to work toward
reunification. Daniel also contends termination of his
parental rights was not in his son's best interests and
was unnecessary because E.B. remained with Carrie, the
child's mother and Daniel's ex-wife. Given
Daniel's history of drug use, mental-health
mismanagement, lack of consistent housing, and domestic
violence, we agree with the conclusions of the juvenile court
and affirm the termination order.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) removed E.B. from
Daniel's care in August 2016 because of Daniel's
ongoing substance abuse and because Daniel was arrested for
allegedly assaulting Carrie in E.B.'s presence. Daniel
and Carrie were married at the time of the alleged assault,
but they have since divorced. In October, the juvenile court
adjudicated the child in need of assistance (CINA) under Iowa
Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2) (2016) and ordered the child
remain in Carrie's custody. The juvenile court
subsequently entered an order limiting Daniel's contact
with E.B. to supervised visits. To achieve reunification, the
court instructed Daniel to act appropriately during visits
with E.B. and when interacting with social workers, to follow
recommendations for mental-health and substance-abuse
treatment, to comply with drug testing, and to abide by the
order prohibiting contact with Carrie. The DHS social worker
assigned to the family's case saw Daniel make
"little to no progress since the initiation of
April 2018, the juvenile court held a hearing on the
State's petition to terminate Daniel's parental
rights. The State cited paragraphs (a), (e), and (f) of Iowa
Code section 232.116(1) (2017) as grounds for termination.
The court found clear and convincing evidence to terminate
Daniel's parental rights under paragraphs (e) and (f).
Additional Six Months
argues an additional six months "would result in a
significant change in circumstances" allowing him to
reunify with E.B. The father contends he has made progress by
attending weekly visitation, completing a ...