IN THE INTEREST OF K.G. and H.S., Minor Children, S.B., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, William
Owens, Associate Juvenile Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
William C. Glass, Keosauqua, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Baird Krafka of Krafka Law Office, Ottumwa, guardian ad litem
for minor children.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
mother appeals the juvenile court's termination of her
parental rights. She claims the State failed to show the need
for removal would no longer exist after six months and failed
to prove by clear and convincing evidence termination is in
the children's best interests. We affirm the juvenile
Background Facts & Proceedings
the mother of two children; K.G., whose natural father is
G.J. and legal parent is S.B.'s wife Ka.G., was born in
2012; and H.S., whose natural father is T.S., was born in
August 23, 2016, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
was alerted the mother was using methamphetamine while caring
for the children. The mother and children were living with
T.S. and his wife, who were also using methamphetamine. The
children were placed with a friend of the family under a
safety plan; K.G. moved to T.S.'s mother's care in
September. On October 4, the court adjudicated the
children in need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code
section 232.2(6)(c)(2) and (n) (2016). K.G. was placed with
T.S.'s mother; H.S. was placed with the family friend,
then transferred to the paternal grandmother's care on
November, the mother entered a residential substance-abuse
treatment program, briefly leaving and returning after a
conflict with staff, and ultimately leaving the program
voluntarily without completing her treatment. The mother
failed to appear at most court hearings and generally did not
attend visitation with the children. The mother provided no
way for DHS to contact her and several times her whereabouts
were unknown. She did not participate in substance-abuse or
mental-health treatment or any other services offered. The
mother attended visitation with the children only a handful
of times between August 2016 and April 2018 and did not call
to talk to the children. The mother was arrested multiple
times and was in and out of jail between April 2017 and April
2018 for drug possession, vehicle offenses, theft, and
forgery. In May 2018, she entered a substance-abuse
residential treatment program, but voluntarily left before
completing treatment in early June. The mother had three
visitations with the children in May and June. The mother
testified to being in an outpatient treatment program at the
time of trial and having prescriptions for depression and
court held the termination hearing on June 26. The court
heard testimony from the social worker, the family services
provider, and the mother. The mother testified she had been
clean from illegal substances for over two months at the time
of the hearing. The same day, the court terminated the
mother's rights pursuant to Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(e) and (f) (2018) as to K.G. and section
232.116(e) and (h) as to H.S.