IN THE INTEREST OF N.K., Minor Child, C.H., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, David F.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
minor child. AFFIRMED.
Ann Folta of Miller, Pearson, Gloe, Burns, Beatty &
Parrish, P.L.C., Decorah, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Thalacker of Juvenile Public Defender's Office, Waterloo,
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to
N.K., born in November 2015. The child was removed from the
parents' care in August 2017 due to the death of
N.K.'s sibling. The Iowa Department of Human Services
(DHS) placed N.K. in foster care, where N.K. remained at the
time of the termination hearing. A hair-stat test of N.K.
tested positive for methamphetamine, as did hair-stat tests
of the parents. The parents were arrested in late October in
connection with the death of N.K.'s sibling. They
remained incarcerated at the time of the termination hearing.
The juvenile court adjudicated N.K. to be a child in need of
assistance in February 2018 due to the child's positive
test for methamphetamine. The State filed a petition to
terminate parental rights in July. The juvenile court
subsequently terminated the mother's parental rights
pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) and (i) (2018).
The mother appeals.
review termination-of-parental-rights proceedings de novo.
In re A.S., 906 N.W.2d 467, 472 (Iowa 2018).
"We are not bound by the juvenile court's findings
of fact, but we do give them weight, especially in assessing
the credibility of witnesses." Id. (quoting
In re A.M., 843 N.W.2d 100, 110 (Iowa 2014)).
"Our primary concern is the best interests of the
child." In re J.E., 723 N.W.2d 793, 798 (Iowa
juvenile court terminated the mother's parental rights
pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) and (i).
"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, 774 (Iowa
2012). Paragraph (h) 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 three years of age or younger.
(2) The child has been adjudicated a child in need of
assistance pursuant to section 232.96.
(3) The child has been removed from the physical custody of
the child's parents for at least six months of the last
twelve months, or for the last six consecutive months and any
trial period at home has been less than thirty days.
(4) There is clear and convincing evidence that the child
cannot be returned to the custody of the child's parents
as provided in ...