IN THE INTEREST OF B.C., Minor Child, S.C., Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Decatur County, Monty W.
Franklin, District Associate Judge.
father appeals from the termination of his parental rights.
E. Kehrwald of Kehrwald Law Firm, Des Moines, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Shireen L. Carter of Shireen Carter Law Office, PLC, Norwalk,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.
DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.
father appeals the termination of his parental rights to
B.C., born in 2011. The juvenile court terminated the
father's parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(e) and (f) (2018). It also found termination was
in the child's best interests. When the juvenile court
finds more than one ground for termination under section
232.116(1), "we may affirm . . . on any ground we find
supported by the record." In re A.B., 815
N.W.2d 764, 774 (Iowa 2012). Upon our de novo review, see
In re A.S., 906 N.W.2d 467, 472 (Iowa 2018), we find
clear and convincing evidence supports termination under
section 232.116(1)(f). We, therefore, affirm.
first note the child was involved with juvenile court
child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceedings before, from
August 2013 to December 2014, as a result of parental
substance abuse and safety concerns resulting from inadequate
parental supervision. That case was closed, and the child was
placed in his father's custody.
child came to the attention of the department of human
services (DHS) again in February 2016 when law enforcement
executed a search warrant at the father's residence where
B.C. and his fifteen-year-old brother resided with the
father. The children did not know where the father was or how
to contact him. During the search, law enforcement found
methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia (pipes and
needles), and homemade alcohol, along with numerous items of
stolen property in the home. A founded child protective
assessment was made for denial of critical care, failure to
provide proper supervision, with the father as the
petition was filed and, initially, B.C. was allowed to remain
in the father's physical custody. The father was to
cooperate with services, including substance-abuse and
mental-health evaluations and treatment services;
parent-skill development; Family Safety, Risk, and Permanency
(FSRP) services; drug testing; and case management services.
However, on November 4, 2016, the father was arrested and
incarcerated for additional criminal charges. The child lived
with two different relatives before being placed with a
foster family on April 24, 2017, where he remained throughout
the termination proceedings.
section 232.116(1)(f), the court may terminate parental
rights if a child four years or older has been adjudicated a
CINA, has been removed from the physical custody of the
parent for at least twelve of the last eighteen months or the
last twelve consecutive months, and cannot be returned to the
parent's custody at the present time. There is no
question the child is older than four years of age, was
adjudicated a CINA on June 21, 2016, and has been removed
from the father's custody for more than twelve
consecutive months. The father argues, however, he can care
for his child at present because he has graduated from the
Salvation Army program, is living with his parents, and can
obtain employment in the near future.
agree with the trial court that the child cannot be returned
to the father at present without risk of adjudicatory harm.
We adopt the following findings and conclusions of the court:
[The father] sporadically participated in outpatient
substance abuse treatment and did provide negative samples
for two drug tests. A drug test on February 17, 2017, was not
valid as the temperature of the urine sample was
"off" and when required to retest on February 24,
2017, [the father] was unable to provide a urine sample for
testing. At his sentencing proceeding held on April 14, 2017,
when [the father] was sent to prison, [the father] admitted
that he would likely test positive for both marijuana and
methamphetamines if he were to be tested on that day.
Following his release from prison in August of 2017, [the
father] attended a few sessions of substance abuse treatment
until he was arrested on additional new charges in October
2017. During this time period he did not test positive for
controlled substances but did test positive for using
alcohol. Since November 6, 2017, until recently, [the father]
has been residing in a community-based correctional
residential program at the Salvation Army Rehabilitation