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In re B.A.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 20, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF B.A., Minor Child, L.F.-H., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals from the termination of her parental rights.

          Carrie E. Coyle of Carrie E. Coyle, PC, Davenport, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Brenda L. Drew-Peeples of Drew-Peeples Law Firm, Davenport, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to B.A., born in May 2017. The juvenile court terminated the mother's parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d) and (h) (2018).[1] On appeal, the mother purports to challenge the statutory grounds for termination. Additionally, she argues she should have been given additional time to work toward reunification and termination is not in B.A.'s best interests.

         We review termination proceedings de novo. In re A.B., 815 N.W.2d 764, 773 (Iowa 2012). We are not bound by the factual findings of the district court, but we do give them weight-especially when assessing witness credibility. Id. "Our primary concern is the best interests of the child." In re J.E., 723 N.W.2d 793, 798 (Iowa 2006).

         When the juvenile court terminates parental rights on more than one ground, we may affirm if we find any one of the grounds supported by clear and convincing evidence. In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 707 (Iowa 2010). Here, we focus on the elements of paragraph (h), which allows the court to terminate when:

(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 ...

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