IN THE INTEREST OF K.C. and S.M., Minor Children, R.M., Father of S.M., Appellant, A.C., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Daniel L.
Block, District Associate Judge.
mother and father separately appeal the termination of their
Christina M. Shriver, Waterloo, for appellant father.
C. Abbott of Abbott Law Office, P.C., Waterloo, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Melissa A. Anderson-Seeber of Juvenile Public Defender's
Office, Waterloo, guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
mother, A.C., and a father separately appeal from the
termination of their parental rights. Because grounds for
termination exist and termination of the parents'
parental rights is in the children's best interests, we
affirm on both appeals.
Background Facts and Proceedings
was born to A.C. in February 2016. K.C.'s father is
unknown. The mother and R.M. were living together
with K.C. in February 2017, when the family came to the
attention of the department of human services (DHS). On
February 17, K.C. was transported by ambulance to the
hospital, diagnosed with shaken baby syndrome, and placed in
a medically induced coma. The child suffered extensive
injuries while in R.M.'s sole care. R.M. stated the child
fell off the couch. Medical staff determined the explanation
given concerning the injuries sustained by K.C. was not
plausible, and it was determined the injuries were a result
of abusive head trauma involving severe
shaking. A child-abuse assessment conducted by DHS
resulted in a finding that R.M. was responsible for physical
abuse of K.C. resulting in serious injury. The child
remained hospitalized for several weeks and was discharged to
a residential rehabilitation facility for children. K.C.
remained at the facility until August 29, 2018, when he was
moved to family foster care.
mother was pregnant with R.M.'s child at the time of
K.C.'s injuries and did not believe R.M. had injured K.C.
DHS expressed concerns about her choosing to stay with R.M.,
but she continued to live with him. A.C.'s and R.M.'s
child, S.M., was born prematurely in July 2017. The infant
was removed from the parents' custody shortly after
does not acknowledge any responsibility for K.C.'s
injuries, and the mother does not believe R.M. had any
involvement. The children have remained in foster care
placements since their respective removals, where they are
doing well. The foster families have indicated their
willingness to offer permanency to the children.
termination-of-parental-rights hearing was held on May 1,
2018. On July 9, the juvenile court terminated the
mother's rights to K.C. and S.M. pursuant to Iowa Code
section 232.116(1)(d) and (h) (2018). R.M.'s parental
rights to S.M. were terminated pursuant to section
232.116(1)(d) and (h). Both parents appeal.