IN THE INTEREST OF J.D., T.D., CD., D.D., and E.R., Minor Children, S.B., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Montgomery County, Amy L.
Zacharias, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
E. Miller of Billings & Mensen, Red Oak, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
DeShawne L. Bird-Sell of Sell Law, PLC, Glenwood, guardian ad
litem for minor children.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to five
of her children. She contends the State failed to prove the
grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence. She
also contends termination is contrary to the children's
best interests and one of the statutory exceptions to
termination applies. Finally, she contends the State failed
to make reasonable efforts to reunify the family and requests
the decision to terminate be delayed six months. We review
her claims de novo. See In re A.S., 906 N.W.2d 467,
472 (Iowa 2018).
Background Facts and Proceedings.
appeal concerns five children who ranged in age from four to
thirteen years old at the time of termination. In May 2017,
the juvenile court adjudicated the children to be in need of
assistance (CINA) due to the mother's relationship with a
registered sex offender, who married the mother in March
2017. In the CINA order, the juvenile court
noted that the mother "seemed to have a very hard time
understanding why the court is concerned with [her husband]
being around the children." When the mother continued to
allow her husband to be around the children in violation of a
no-contact order, the juvenile court removed the children
from her care. Concerns were also raised about the
suitability of the mother's home, which was cluttered
with trash and debris, had a strong stench of animal urine,
and was infested with cockroaches.
State filed a petition to terminate the mother's parental
rights in May 2018. The matter came to a hearing on August
23, 2018. On September 7, 2018, the juvenile court entered an
order terminating the mother's parental rights.
Grounds for termination.
terminating parental rights, the juvenile court must find
clear and convincing evidence supporting one of the grounds
for termination listed under section 232.116(1) (2018).
See In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 706 (Iowa 2010). The
juvenile court found clear and convincing evidence supported
the grounds for termination of the mother's parental
rights on the grounds listed in Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(d) and (f). We may affirm the termination ...