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In re S.B.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 20, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF S.B., Minor Child, S.B., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Montgomery County, Amy L. Zacharias, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child, born in 2018. AFFIRMED.

          Ivan E. Miller, Red Oak, for appellant mother.

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

          DeShawne L. Bird-Sell of Sell Law, PLC, Glenwood, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, Judge.

         A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child, born in 2018. She argues (A) the State failed to prove the grounds for termination cited by the district court; (B) the department of human services failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify her with the child; (C) the district court should not have terminated her parental rights based on the parent-child bond; and (D) the district court should have afforded her additional time to work toward reunification.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The mother had six children. The district court terminated her parental rights to five of them in a separate proceeding. The court of appeals recently affirmed the termination decision. See In re J.D., No. 18-1618, 2019 WL 156673, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 9, 2019). We noted that the mother lived with and married a registered sex offender and "continued to allow her husband to be around the children in violation of a no-contact order." Id.

         After the sixth child was born, the district court removed her from parental custody based on the department's attestation that her father was a registered sex offender, he had not participated in treatment services, and he would pose an imminent danger to the child. The district court later adjudicated the child in need of assistance. The court reasoned, the mother "continues to exhibit behaviors that prove she lacks any protective capacity to keep ANY of her children safe." The child remained out of the mother's custody for the duration of the proceedings. The father moved out of the state to live with his mother.

          In time, the State petitioned to terminate the mother's parental rights to the sixth child. The district court granted the petition pursuant to several statutory provisions. The mother appealed.

         II. Analysis

         A. Grounds ...


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