IN THE INTEREST OF L.T., A.T., and D.T., Minor Children, K.T., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Susan Flaherty,
Associate Juvenile Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to
three children. AFFIRMED.
Ramsey-Kacena, Cedar Rapids, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and John McCormally, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State. Kimberly A. Opatz of
Linn County Advocate, Inc., Cedar Rapids, guardian ad litem
for minor children.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.
DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.
mother appeals from an order terminating her parental rights
to three children: L.T., born in October 2012; A.T., born in
April 2014; and D.T., born in May 2015. The mother
challenges the cessation of reasonable efforts by the
department of human services (DHS) upon the juvenile
court's oral statement of termination of parental rights
in May 2017. She also asserts the juvenile court erred in
denying her July 1, 2018 motion to reopen the record and in
failing to give her additional time to seek reunification
with her children. Because the mother does not challenge the
grounds upon which termination was entered, termination is in
the children's statutory best interests, and no
permissive factor weighs against termination, we affirm.
mother was previously involved with DHS and
child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceedings on two other
occasions involving other children she had. Her parental
rights for two of her children were terminated and a third
child was placed in his father's sole custody. Throughout
all of the juvenile court proceedings, the mother has dealt
with long-term substance-abuse and mental-health issues.
2014, L.T., A.T., and D.T. came to the attention of DHS
following the birth of D.T., who tested positive for
amphetamines at birth. The mother acknowledged taking her
husband's Adderall medication. At the time, L.T. was age
three years and A.T. was approximately fourteen months old.
June 2015 hearing, all parties stipulated the children were
CINA. A safety plan was put in place and the children
remained in the home. However, due to the parents'
continued drug use, the children were removed in September
2015. They have remained in the same foster home since their
mother has experienced numerous traumatic events and her
response has been to self-medicate. She has participated in
multiple substance-abuse treatment programs over the years,
including five residential treatment programs, but has not
been successful in maintaining her sobriety. She has a poor
work history and a pattern of unstable housing.
time of the November 2016 termination trial-fourteen months
after the children had been removed from the parents'
custody-the mother acknowledged she had used methamphetamine
the week before the hearing. Her November 14, 2016 drug patch
tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamines. The
mother stated she "absolutely" needed treatment for
substance abuse. Her most recent substance-abuse evaluation
recommended residential treatment. She testified, "I
need to do that [a residential treatment program]. I
can't focus on life and everything else if I don't
have my sobriety as number one. I need to be away. I need to
be in a structured environment. I can't stay sober by
myself." She asked the court,
Give me time to go and focus on my recovery. And not just
thirty days, I have no intention of just doing thirty days.
And to actually give me a chance because I have shown that I
can be in recovery, that I'm dedicated to it, but right
now I have continued use and I can't do it alone, and I
need time to get in somewhere and to have that support again,
because I have been lacking that.
end of the November 2016 hearing, the juvenile court stated
the matter of termination of parental ...