IN THE INTEREST OF B.S., Minor Child, G.S., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Page County, Amy L.
Zacharias, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
R. Wyatt of Woods & Wyatt, PLLC, Glenwood, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Katherine Murphy of Kate Murphy Law, PLC, Glenwood, for
Danley, Sidney, guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
appeals from an order terminating her parental rights in her
child, B.S. The juvenile court terminated Geraldine's
parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h)
(2018). On appeal, Geraldine challenges the sufficiency of
the evidence supporting the statutory grounds authorizing
termination of her parental rights; claims the Iowa
Department of Human Services (IDHS) failed to make reasonable
efforts toward reunification; claims she received ineffective
assistance of counsel; suggests her constitutional right to
equal protection was violated; and argues termination is not
in the child's best interest due to Geraldine's close
bond with B.S. Geraldine seeks reversal of the termination
order or six additional months to work toward reunification.
court reviews termination proceedings de novo. See In re
A.M., 843 N.W.2d 100, 110 (Iowa 2014). The statutory
framework authorizing the termination of a parent-child
relationship is well established. See In re A.S.,
906 N.W.2d 467, 472-73 (Iowa 2018) (setting forth the
statutory framework). The burden is on the State to prove by
clear and convincing evidence (1) the statutory ground or
grounds authorizing the termination of parental rights and
(2) "termination of parental rights is in the best
interest of the child." In re E.H., No.
17-0615, 2017 WL 2684420, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. June 21,
first address Geraldine's challenge to the sufficiency of
the evidence supporting termination of her rights pursuant to
section 232.116(1)(h). She limits her challenge to the fourth
element of paragraph (h). That element "require[s] clear
and convincing evidence the children would be exposed to an
appreciable risk of adjudicatory harm if returned to the
parent's custody at the time of the termination
has struggled to maintain her sobriety throughout the
pendency of these proceedings. She tested positive for
methamphetamine several times. Following a period of
sobriety, B.S. was returned to Geraldine's care only for
Geraldine to stop complying with her mandatory drug testing.
She missed twelve drug screenings from March 27, 2018 to July
17, 2018. Cf. In re C.W., No. 14-1501, 2014 WL
5865351, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Nov. 13, 2014) (noting missed