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In re P.W.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 1, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF P.W., Minor Child, E.W., Mother, Appellant, X.W., Father, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.

         A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.

          Lori M. Holm of Holm Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant mother.

          Kelsey L. Knight of Carr Law Firm P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant father.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Brent M. Pattison of Drake Legal Clinic, Des Moines, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.

          VOGEL, Judge.

         A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their son, P.W., born April 2017.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The family came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) after P.W. tested positive for THC at birth. Four days later, the mother tested positive for THC and the father tested positive for THC and methamphetamine. Both parents consented to a temporary removal order on April 26, 2017. On May 4, after both parents stipulated as to the continued need for removal, the court entered a removal order due to unresolved mental-health, substance-abuse, and domestic-violence issues concerning both parents as well as previous DHS involvement concerning the father's three older children.

         On June 9, P.W. was adjudicated a child in need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2), (n), and (o) (2017). Following the CINA adjudication, the mother provided a sweat patch that tested positive for methamphetamine. At the dispositional hearing-held on July 18 and August 17- the court found neither parent was participating in domestic-abuse services or substance-abuse treatment. The court noted that while the parents claimed they had issues with insurance coverage, they did not take advantage of free support services. At the December 14 permanency hearing, the mother's substance-abuse therapist reported the mother's participation in services was "inconsistent." At the same hearing, the DHS also reported neither parent had provided a drug screen as required.

         The State petitioned to terminate the parents' parental rights on February 26, 2018. A contested hearing was held on March 29, after which the district court terminated the mother's parental rights to P.W. under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) ...


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