IN THE INTEREST OF A.S.-M. and A.C., Minor Children, C.C., Father of A.C., Appellant, K.S.-M., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Susan F.
Flaherty, Associate Juvenile Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two
children. The father of one of the children appeals the
termination of his parental rights.
Michael M. Lindeman of Lindeman Law, Cedar Rapids, for
appellant father. Annette F. Martin, Cedar Rapids, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
L. O'Brien-Licht, Cedar Rapids, guardian ad litem for
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
mother appeals from the juvenile court order terminating her
parental rights to two children. The father of the younger
child appeals the order terminating his parental rights as
well. Both argue the State failed to prove the statutory
grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence and
ask for more time to work toward reunification. Upon our
review of the record, we reach the same conclusions as the
juvenile court and affirm termination of the parents'
Facts and Prior Proceedings
is the mother of A.C. (born in 2016) and A.S.-M. (born in
2010).A.C.'s father is
Christopher. The court initially ordered removal of the
children from their home in April 2017 because Keana and
Christopher were using methamphetamine while caring for them.
The court placed the children with their maternal
grandmother, where they have remained throughout this case.
court adjudicated the children in need of assistance (CINA)
under Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2) (2017), finding
Christopher and Keana's substance use and domestic
violence placed the children in danger. Christopher has
multiple convictions for assault with Keana as the victim.
Keana has a history of relationships with violent partners,
unstable mental health, psychiatric hospitalization, and
substance abuse. Keana has assaulted others, including her
mother. The parents continued to engage in a dysfunctional
relationship, over the objections of social workers with the
Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS).
juvenile court ordered the parents to participate in drug
testing, substance abuse treatment, mental health
evaluations, and therapy to address domestic abuse issues.
Throughout the next year, the parents were inconsistent in
their efforts and made very little progress toward those case
goals. In March 2018, the State petitioned to terminate
termination hearing in June, the DHS social worker pointed to
several safety concerns for the children if they were
returned to Keana-specifically, her mental health instability
and substance abuse, including a relapse in May 2018.
parents continued to struggle with addiction. Keana entered
substance abuse treatment four times without success. She
testified her next plan was a residential program in Arizona.
Throughout this case, she and Christopher repeatedly tested
positive for drugs: Keana tested positive for cocaine and
methamphetamine as recently as April 2018, and Christopher
tested positive for either cocaine or methamphetamine in
February, April, and May 2018. Although he participated in
substance abuse treatment, the DHS caseworker opined
Christopher had not "internalized" the information
because he was still missing drug tests or testing positive.
He admittedly continued to drink alcohol and surrounded
himself with other drug abusers.
parents have criminal records. During the case, Christopher
incurred new charges for assault against Keana. The State
also charged Christopher with violating the related
no-contact order. ...