IN THE INTEREST OF T.B., Minor Child, C.L.M., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph W.
Seidlin, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
AFFIRMED. Jonathan M. Causey of Causey & Ye Law, PLLC.,
Des Moines, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and John B. McCormally,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
E. Mayfield of Youth Law Center, Des Moines, guardian ad
litem for minor child.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
mother, Copa, appeals from an order terminating her parental
rights in her child, T.B., pursuant to Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(g) and (h) (2018). The mother challenges the
sufficiency of the evidence supporting the statutory grounds
authorizing the termination of her parental rights, the
juvenile court's finding the State made reasonable
efforts to facilitate her reunification with the child, and
the denial of her request for six additional months to work
toward reunification. The mother also contends termination of
the parent-child relationship is not the child's best
interest, the State failed to provide a social history
report, and the State failed to comply with the Indian Child
Welfare Act. Finally, she claims she received ineffective
assistance of counsel from her first attorney.
family first came to the attention of the Iowa Department of
Human Services (IDHS) in 2014 when IDHS removed two children
from Copa's care because of her methamphetamine use.
Despite IDHS intervention, Copa continued to use
methamphetamine. Ultimately, she consented to the termination
of her parental rights with respect to the two children
removed from her care.
family again came to the attention of IDHS. The day after
T.B.'s birth in 2014, there was a report of domestic
violence. T.B. was removed from the mother's care in
December 2014, and a child-in-need-of-assistance proceeding
was initiated. The juvenile court closed the case and
returned T.B. to Copa's care in January 2016.
thereafter, following a subsequent incident of domestic abuse
in the home, another assistance proceeding was initiated. The
juvenile court permitted T.B. to remain in Copa's care.
As part of the case plan, Copa was required, among other
things, to take random drug screens due to her history of
substance abuse. In particular, she had a long history of
child did not remain in Copa's care for long. Copa tested
positive for methamphetamine in January 2017, and T.B. was
removed from her care and placed in foster care. Copa
requested her aunt be considered as a placement option for
T.B. The juvenile court did not approve of the requested
placement because T.B.'s social worker had past
altercations with the aunt and did not believe the two could
interact constructively. Copa continued to test positive for
methamphetamine in subsequent tests. Initially, Copa denied
drug use and accused IDHS of setting her up for failure.
Eventually, Copa conceded she relapsed, but she then recanted
her concession, arguing her attorney coerced her into
admitting drug use. Copa's recantation is not credible.
In an email from December 2017, Copa admitted to her social
worker she had been using methamphetamine since November 2016
and realized she needed to make changes in her life.
State petitioned to terminate Copa's parental rights.
Copa contested the termination of her parental rights. The
juvenile court terminated Copa's parental rights pursuant