IN THE INTEREST OF T.M., Minor Child, B.M., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E.
Seymour, District Associate Judge.
father appeals the order terminating his parental
relationship with his now one-year-old daughter.
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 child.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
T.F.M. was born in February 2018, her three older siblings
were already in the custody of the Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS). Her father, Brian, had ongoing issues with
substance abuse, mental health, and physical
violence. When Brian made no progress toward
reunification with T.F.M., the juvenile court terminated his
parental rights. Brian appeals that order.
petition on appeal, Brian raises seven issues: (1) Did the
State prove termination was proper under Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(h) (2018)? (2) Was termination in T.F.M.'s
best interests? (3) Was termination detrimental to T.F.M.
because of her close relationship with Brian? (4) Did the
State breach Brian's right to confidentiality by offering
evidence from his substance abuse counseling and mental
health treatment? (5) Should the court have granted Brian six
more months to reunify with T.F.M.? (6) Should T.F.M. and her
siblings 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 T.F.M. and moving promptly toward
permanency promotes her welfare.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
opened child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) cases in June 2017
for three other children in this family -A.G., G.M., and
The parents, Brian and Sadie, did not consistently engage in
services and tested positive for methamphetamine in December
2017. Their youngest child, T.F.M., the child at issue in
this appeal, was born in February 2018. The juvenile court
ordered T.F.M. removed from her parents' care two days
after her birth.
April 2018 order adjudicating T.F.M. as a CINA, the court
identified Brian's minimization of his substance abuse,
his failure to regularly attend therapy for his mental health
challenges, and his "unresolved anger issues." The
court found Brian was "dishonest during that hearing as
he denied any history of child abuse but after further
questioning, he admitted he was previously convicted for
manslaughter of his child, D.M." Brian also had a founded
child abuse assessment for indecent contact with a
spring 2018, Brian participated in services, but only
"superficially" in the juvenile court's
estimation. The court noted in a May 2018 disposition order
that Brian told substance abuse providers "he is only
attending because he has to and does not believe he has
substance abuse issues." The court further found Brian