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In re N.S.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 6, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF N.S., A.R., A.S.-R., and G.S.-R., Minor Children, A.S., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Mary Jane Sokolovske, Judge.

         The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her four children.

          Douglas L. Roehrich, Sioux City, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Michelle Hynes of Juvenile Law Center, Sioux City, guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her four children, who at the time the termination order issued ranged in ages from six years old to two years.[1] The mother's parental rights were terminated pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f), (h), and (l) (2018). On appeal, she purports to challenge the statutory grounds, argues the children could be returned to her care in a reasonable time, and maintains termination of her rights is not in the children's best interests.

         We review termination proceedings de novo. In re R.E., 462 N.W.2d 723, 724 (Iowa Ct. App. 1990).

         We begin by considering the statutory grounds for termination. See In re P.L., 778 N.W.2d 33, 35 (Iowa 2010). "When the juvenile court terminates parental rights on more than one statutory ground, we may affirm the juvenile court's order on any ground we find supported by the record." In re A.B., 815 N.W.2d 764, 773 (Iowa 2012). Paragraphs (f) and (h) of section 232.116(1) contain similar elements. Paragraph (f), which the juvenile court found applicable to G.S.-R. and A.S.-R., allows the court to terminate parental rights if it finds all of the following have been established by clear and convincing evidence:

(1) The child is four years of age or older.
(2) The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance [(CINA)] pursuant to section 232.96.
(3) The child has been removed from the physical custody of the child's parents for at least twelve of the last eighteen months, or for the last twelve consecutive months and any trial period at home has been less than thirty days.
(4) There is clear and convincing evidence that at the present time the child cannot be returned to the custody of the child's ...

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