IN THE INTEREST OF C.W., J.W., D.W., and A.W., Minor Children, K.W., Mother, Appellant, J.W., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J.
Tabor, District Associate Judge.
mother and father appeal the termination of their parental
rights to their children.
Barbara E. Maness, Davenport, for appellant mother.
Victoria D. Noel of The Noel Law Firm, PC, Clinton, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
A. Kroeger, Le Claire, guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.
Tabor, J., takes no part.
mother of four children and the father of three of those
children left their children with relatives and moved out of
state. The State filed a child-in-need of-assistance
petition. A department of human services employee attested
this was not the first time the parents relinquished care of
the children. This time, according to the employee, the
parents admitted to the relatives that "they were unable
to care for the children due to methamphetamine use and
district court adjudicated the children in need of
assistance. The children remained in their relatives'
care throughout the proceedings.
parents returned to Iowa after several months but declined to
participate in all the supervised visits offered them and
failed to fully avail themselves of other reunification
services. A year into the proceedings, the department
reported "a level of instability [that] subjected the
children to unsafe and unstable conditions." The
department cited "a long history of substance abuse and
mental health issues as well as domestic violence."
State filed a petition to terminate parental rights. By the
time of the hearing on the petition, the children had been
out of the parents' custody for seventeen months. The
district court granted the termination petition and both
district court terminated the mother's parental rights to
her four children-born in 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2013-pursuant
to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2017). The provision
requires proof of several elements, including proof
"that at the present time the child[ren] cannot be
returned to the custody of the child[ren]'s parent."
On appeal, the mother argues (1) the record lacks clear and
convincing evidence to support the ground for termination
cited by the court, (2)the ...