IN THE INTEREST OF T.B. and M.M., Minor Children, M.U., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Washington County, Daniel P.
Kitchen, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the continued removal of two of her children
from her care following the modification of a dispositional
G. Daufeldt of Daufeldt Law Firm, PLC, Conroy, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Kathryn J. Salazar of Schlegel & Salazar, LLP,
Washington, guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE
mother challenges the continued removal of two of her
children from her care following the modification of a
dispositional order. The mother maintains the State (1)
failed to prove by substantial evidence that imminent risk,
which warranted emergency removal of the children from her
care, existed and (2) did not prove a material and
substantial change in circumstances warranting a change in
Background Facts and Proceedings.
and M.M. are the mother's youngest two children; they are
the only children at issue in this appeal. T.B. was born in
September 2013 and M.M. was born in March 2017.
mother has a history of involvement with the Iowa Department
of Human Services (DHS) due to her struggles with substance
abuse-specifically methamphetamine. The family was the
subject of a child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceeding
before DHS got involved with the family this time.
current involvement with the family began in October 2016 due
to allegations the mother was caring for the children while
using methamphetamine. During an assessment by DHS, the
mother admitted she relapsed on methamphetamine in December
2015 and stated she used it daily until approximately one and
a half months before the assessment. The mother was pregnant
with M.M. at the time.
mother stipulated to the January 2017 adjudication of T.B.,
and, following a contested hearing, M.M. was adjudicated in
May. Both children were adjudicated pursuant to Iowa Code
section 232.2(6)(n) (2017).
orders have been modified a number of times throughout the
case, as the mother alternates between sobriety and
relapsing. The mother tested positive for methamphetamine in
both January and April 2017. Additionally, she incurred a
number of criminal charges and has, at times, shown a lack of
by late August and into September, the mother was exhibiting
positive progress, and both T.B. and M.M. were returned to
the mother's home on extended trial visits. They were
returned to the mother's custody in early November.
During this time period, the mother received a number of
positive reports about her ability to parent the children on
her own, as her paramour, M.M.'s biological father, was
not helping financially or with caretaking duties. The
paramour had not engaged with the services of DHS, and the
mother reported he was using methamphetamine and spending
time with people who manufacture the drug. The mother
reported feeling stressed about financial matters and the
state of her relationship with her paramour.
November, the mother's substance-abuse counselor
contacted DHS, reporting the mother was asked to provide a
urine sample for a drug test while at a group meeting, but
the mother stated she was unable. She was then asked to
return the next day to provide the sample and failed to do
so. When the counselor tried to reach out to the ...