IN THE INTEREST OF J.H., Minor Child, J.M., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Barbara H.
Liesveld, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
L. Williams of Williams Law Office, PLLC, Cedar Rapids, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and John B. McCormally,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Gunderson Trachta of Linn County Advocate, Cedar Rapids,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.
mother appeals the district court's termination of her
parental rights to her son, J.H. She argues the statutory
grounds for termination were not met, termination was not in
J.H.'s best interests, and she should have additional
time for reunification. We agree with the district court and
was born in August 2017. The family came to the attention of
the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) because J.H. and
the mother tested positive for methamphetamine at J.H's
birth. J.H. was then removed from parental care but remained
in the hospital, showing signs of drug withdrawal. A week
later, he was released from the hospital and placed with a
foster family, where he remained for the duration of these
proceedings. He was adjudicated a child in need of assistance
(CINA), and the DHS offered several services to the family,
including services to assist with mental health, substance
abuse, and life skills.
mother has a history of mental health issues, including
schizophrenia. Hannah Shaffer, who provided services to the
parents, testified some of the mother's actions showed
"a loss of reality":
[The mother] had made a comment to another worker that . . .
she had saved them from gang wars that were put on by the
government. That she had pencils in her hat that were
protecting her from her thoughts being read by the
government. . . . I think one of the most alarming ones for
me was that she had intended to give [J.H.] a pill that was
previously known as meth but is now called phase four, to get
him involved in a government study or experiment, as she put
mother has refused a substance-abuse evaluation and
mother lives with J.H.'s father, who also has
mental-health issues, including mild cognitive disorder due
to a traumatic brain injury, and who has borderline
intellectual functioning. He admitted to daily use of
marijuana-which he intends to continue-and his legal history
includes multiple felonies. The parents were homeless for
about three months after J.H.'s birth. The DHS offered
the parents two visits with J.H. per week, and they have
attended sixty-two of eighty-five offered visits.
11, 2018, the district court held a hearing on the
termination of the parents' rights to J.H. On June 4, the
court terminated the parents' rights under Iowa Code