IN THE INTEREST OF N.S. and N.S., Minor Children, K.K., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Stephanie
Forker Parry, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
S. Moeller of John S. Moeller, P.C., Sioux City, for
J. Miller Attorney General, and Meredith L. Lamberti,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Thali of Juvenile Law Center, Sioux City, attorney and
guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her
parental rights. The mother claims the children could be
returned to her care at the time of the hearing or in the
near future. We find the State established by clear and
convincing evidence the children could not be returned to the
mother, and termination is in the children's best
Background Facts & Proceedings
the mother of N.M.S., born in 2014, and N.J.S., born in 2016.
On January 29, 2017, the mother was arrested for possession
of methamphetamine in the home and two counts of child
endangerment. The children's father, A.S., was in prison
at the time. The parents have a history of domestic violence
and drug use.
children remained in the mother's custody subject to
protective supervision by the Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS). The mother and children moved in with the
mother's father, then later moved to her mother's
home. On March 27, the children were adjudicated in need of
assistance (CINA) under Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(a),
(c)(2), and (n) (2017). In April, the infant tested positive
for exposure to methamphetamine.
mother pleaded guilty to a charge of child endangerment and
received a suspended sentence. The mother sporadically
participated in services including drug testing,
mental-health treatment, substance-abuse evaluations and
treatment, and parenting classes. The mother often showed
initial interest in a service, but then failed to follow
through with the programming. The mother told workers she did
not feel she needed treatment and she did not have a
substance- abuse problem. The father was paroled to Minnesota
in August, and the parents began weekend visits.
morning in early September, the older child, then two years
of age, was found underdressed and alone across the street
from the home while the mother slept; officers found the door
to the home wide open. The mother admitted to relapsing on
methamphetamine that week and later admitted to having used
methamphetamine and marijuana weekly between January and
September. The children were placed with the maternal
grandmother with a safety plan. The mother continued to live
in the home while clean and sober, but she was no longer
allowed unsupervised care of the children. On January 3,
2018, the court moved the children to the custody of DHS,
which placed them with the maternal grandmother.
November 2017, the mother was accepted into family treatment
court but was released in January 2018 due to noncompliance.
A domestic-violence incident occurred between the parents in
late December. The mother began missing appointments with her
probation officer and admitted using marijuana and
methamphetamine. During a traffic stop of the parents in
February, marijuana, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia
were found on the mother's person and in the vehicle. The
drugs were attributed to the father and he was ...