IN THE INTEREST OF K.P. and A.B., Minor Children, J.P., Father of K.P., Appellant, B.B., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Monroe County, William
Owens, Associate Juvenile Judge.
mother and father appeal the termination of their parental
rights in their children.
Michael S. Fisher of Fisher Law Office, Oskaloosa, for
Baird Krafka of Krafka Law Office, Ottumwa, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
S. Maughan of Maughan Law Office, Albia, guardian ad litem
for minor children.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.
juvenile court terminated Brooklyn and Joseph's parental
rights in their child, K.P., pursuant to Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(h) (2018). The juvenile court also terminated
Brooklyn's rights in her child, A.B., pursuant to Iowa
Code section 232.116(1)(f). A.B. is Brooklyn's child from
another father. A.B.'s father does not appeal the
termination of his parental rights. In this appeal, Brooklyn
claims there is insufficient evidence supporting the
statutory grounds authorizing the termination of her parental
rights in K.P. and A.B. Both parents claim the termination of
their parental rights is not in the best interest of their
and A.B. first came to the attention of the Iowa Department
of Human Services ("IDHS") when A.B. was admitted
to the emergency room with bruising on his cheeks, chest,
arms, legs, buttocks, and under his face. IDHS founded a
report for physical abuse. IDHS also entered into a safety
plan with Brooklyn. Pursuant to the safety plan, Joseph would
not be allowed to supervise A.B. However, Joseph continued to
supervise the child. In June 2016, A.B. was lacerated on his
chin while in the care of Joseph. The laceration was three
centimeters long and required sutures. IDHS performed drug
testing on A.B. The child tested positive for exposure to
juvenile court subsequently adjudicated the children in need
continued to provide services to Brooklyn and Joseph with the
goal of returning the children to their care. The parents
continued to make progress, and visitation advanced to
unsupervised overnight visitation with the expectation the
children would be returned to the parents' care.
permanency goal changed to termination of parental rights
following an incident of physical abuse to A.B. In February
2018, Joseph and Brooklyn had unsupervised visitation with
the children for several days. After that visit, A.B.
exhibited visible bruising, prompting IDHS to initiate an
examination. The examining physician noted adult hand marks
around A.B.'s neck, an adult bite mark on one buttock,
and bruising on A.B.'s penis. IDHS investigated the
incident and founded a report of abuse.
the State's petition, the juvenile court terminated the
parents' rights, and the parents timely filed this
appeal. We review termination-of-parental-rights proceedings
de novo. See In re A.M., 843 N.W.2d 100, 110 (Iowa
2014); In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 706 (Iowa 2010).
However, "[w]e give weight to the findings of the
juvenile court, particularly with respect to the credibility
of witnesses." In re B.N., No. 00-0220, 2001 WL
57987, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan 24, 2001); accord
D.W., 791 N.W.2d at 706. The statutory framework
authorizing the termination of a parent-child relationship is
well established. See In re A.S., 906 N.W.2d 467,
472-73 (Iowa 2018) (setting forth the statutory framework).
The burden is on the State to prove by clear and convincing
evidence (1) the statutory ground or grounds authorizing ...