IN THE INTEREST OF K.H. and E.H., Minor Children, K.H., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Susan Flaherty,
Associate Juvenile Judge.
father challenges the termination of his parental rights to
two children. AFFIRMED.
R. Fiester, Cedar Rapids, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Opatz of Linn County Advocate, Inc., Cedar Rapids, guardian
ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
appeal involves K.H., age fourteen, and his sister, E.H., age
six. Their father, Kyle, challenges the juvenile court order
terminating his parental rights.He contests the State's
proof that the children could not be returned to his custody.
See Iowa Code § 232.116(1)(f)(4) (2018). He
also asserts termination was not in the children's best
interests because of their strong attachment to him.
See Iowa Code §§ 232.116(2), (3)(c).
our independent review of the record, we agree with the
straightforward conclusions reached by the juvenile
court. Kyle has made little progress in
addressing the homelessness, unemployment, and general
instability that led to the children's removal from
parental custody. Termination of Kyle's rights and likely
adoption by their paternal grandparents is the superior
option to protect and nurture these children now and into the
Facts and Prior Proceedings
and Dawn were married in 2002 and separated in 2016. The
couple had two children, K.H. and E.H. In January 2017, the
children moved in with Kyle's mother and her husband.
Kyle recalled his family was being evicted from their
apartment for failing to pay rent and "had no place to
go." The grandparents agreed to take care of the
children while the parents tried to obtain housing.
was meant to be a temporary fix turned into an extended stay.
About eighteen months later, in July 2018, Kyle was still
homeless and the children remained with their grandparents.
the meantime, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
opened a child-welfare case. In April 2017, the DHS
investigated a report Dawn was using methamphetamine while
caring for the children. Kyle was in jail at the time. When
the DHS investigator contacted K.H. at his middle school, he
reported not having seen his parents for several weeks. K.H.
grew emotional when telling the investigator Kyle had been
physically violent toward Dawn and K.H. had tried to place
himself between his parents. But K.H. felt safe in the care
of his grandparents.
2017, the juvenile court approved the children's formal
removal from parental custody. And in June, both parents
stipulated to the court adjudicating K.H. and E.H. as
children in need ...