IN THE INTEREST OF A.G., G.M., and T.M., Minor Children, B.M., Father of G.M. and T.M., Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E.
Seymour, District Associate Judge.
father appeals the order terminating his parental
relationship with two children, ages five and two years.
H. Ginkens of Ginkens Law Firm, P.L.C., West Des Moines, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Garbis Nolan of Youth Law Center, Des Moines, guardian ad
litem for minor children.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
father, Brian, appeals the juvenile court order terminating
his parental relationship with G.M., born in January 2014,
and T.M., born in September 2016.The court granted the
State's petition to terminate based on the father's
ongoing issues with substance abuse, mental health, and
petition on appeal, Brian raises seven issues: (1) Did the
State prove termination was proper under Iowa Code section
232.116(1) subsections (f) and (h) (2018)? (2) Was
termination in the children's best interests? (3) Was
termination detrimental to the children because of their
close relationship with Brian? (4) Did the State breach
Brian's right to confidentiality by offering evidence
from his substance-abuse counselor and mental-health
provider? (5) Should the court have granted Brian six more
months to reunify with his children? (6) Should the children
have been placed with relatives rather than in foster care?
And (7) should the court have honored the parents'
request for increased visitation?
reviewing the record, we find none of these issues requires
reversal.The State established Brian was not a safe
custodial option for these children and moving promptly
toward permanency promotes their welfare.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) took notice of A.G.,
G.M., and T.M. when the family moved to Iowa from Minnesota
where they had open child-welfare cases. The Iowa juvenile
court adjudicated the children in need of assistance (CINA)
in August 2017. The parents, Brian and Sadie, did not
consistently engage in services. Both parents tested positive
for methamphetamine in December 2017, yet denied any drug
January 2018, the juvenile court found the parents had not
been honest about Sadie's pregnancy. T.F.M. was born
in February 2018. The juvenile court ordered T.F.M. removed
from her parents' care two days after her
did not show a strong commitment to overcoming his
substance-abuse problem. Brian told providers he was only
attending treatment "because he is required to but does
not actually believe he has any substance abuse issue."
At the DHS Family Team Meeting in mid-April, the caseworker
asked the parents to provide drug screens and they refused to
do so. The court considered those screens to be positive. The
father also tested positive for methamphetamine in May. The
court found Brian's ...