IN THE INTEREST OF A.R., B.R., A.M., and R.T., Minor Children, S.R., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Stephanie
Forker Parry, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
Jessica R. Noll of Deck Law, PLC, Sioux City, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Michelle M. Hynes, Public Defenders Office, Sioux City,
guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights. We
find there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to
support termination of the mother's parental rights and
termination is in the children's best interests. We
affirm the decision of the juvenile court.
Background Facts & Proceedings
is the mother of R.T., born 2004; A.M., born 2006; B.R., born
2012; and A.R., born 2014. S.R. is the putative father of
B.R. and A.R. S.T.R. and S.R. will be collectively be
referred to as the parents. Z.M. is the father of R.T. and
October 15, 2016, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
investigated a report of the parents' use of
methamphetamine, transient life style, domestic violence, and
child abuse of R.T. and A.M. by S.R. The older three children
were found at the mother's parents' house in Sioux
City with the oldest child left in charge; the parents and
A.R. were not present. R.T., A.M., and B.R. were removed and
placed with a maternal aunt and uncle. A.M. and B.R. both
tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, as did
mother absconded with A.R. from October 15 until November 28.
The State attempted to locate the mother, including checking
S.R.'s address in Nebraska and at her parents' house.
S.R. told the court he did not know where the mother and A.R.
were, but he maintained daily contact with her and they
married on November 9 in South Dakota. The mother later
testified she stayed at her aunt's house in South Dakota
during that period. A petition to terminate the mother's
parental rights to the older three children was filed
November 22, 2016.On November 28, 2016, the mother appeared
at a removal hearing, surrendered A.R. to DHS, and submitted
to drug testing, which came back negative. A.R. was placed in
was placed in the same foster care home with A.R. beginning
in December. R.T. and A.M. continued to live with their
maternal aunt and began having visitation with Z.M. The
visitations progressed, and R.T. and A.M. were placed in the
home of Z.M. and his parents in May 2017. R.T. and A.M.
repeatedly expressed a desire to not see their mother to DHS
workers and therapists.
January 9, 2017, the court adjudicated the children as in
need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code section
232.2(6)(b), (c)(2), and (n) (2016). The parents contested
the State of Iowa's jurisdiction over the children, but
the district court found it had jurisdiction and we affirmed.