IN THE INTEREST OF G.B., Minor Child, M.B., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas J.
Straka, Associate Juvenile Judge.
father appeals the termination of his parental rights.
Benjamin Hamel of Iowa Legal Aid, Dubuque, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Patricia Reisen-Ottavi, Dubuque, guardian ad litem for minor
Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mullins, J., and Mahan, S.J.
father appeals the termination of his parental rights in his
son, G.B., born in 2018. He contends the district court erred
in denying his request for additional time to work toward
reunification, termination is not in the child's best
interest, and his bond with G.B. should preclude termination.
Background Facts and Proceedings
family most recently came to the attention of the department
of human services in June 2018 when the mother passed out
while caring for B.G. and required emergency medical
attention. She subsequently tested positive for
methamphetamine. As a result, G.B. was removed from the
mother's care. Because the father admitted to recent
methamphetamine use, the child could not be placed with him.
The juvenile court adjudicated G.B. a child in need of
the father did not participate in services. He was jailed
from July to November 2018. Following release, the father
began a substance-abuse program and completed seven
supervised visits with G.B. in November and December.
However, his visitation became sporadic by mid-December.
State petitioned to terminate the parents' parental
rights to G.B. in December. By early January 2019, the father
was back in jail and tested positive for methamphetamine.
Following a hearing, the juvenile court granted the petition
to terminate parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(g), (h), and (l) (2018). The father
II.Scope and Standard of Review
review is de novo. See In re M.W., 876 N.W.2d 212,
219 (Iowa 2016). We are not bound by the juvenile court's
factual findings, but we give them weight, especially when
witness credibility is critical to the outcome. See
id. Proof must be clear and convincing, meaning there
are no "serious or substantial doubts as to the
correctness [of] conclusions of law drawn from the
evidence." In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 706
(Iowa 2010). "[R]eview of termination of parental rights
under Iowa Code chapter 232 is a three-step analysis."
M.W., 876 N.W.2d at 219. First, we determine if
"any ground for termination under section 232.116(1) has
been established." Id. If a statutory ground
authorizing termination has been established, then we
consider whether termination in is the child's best
interest. See id. at 219-20. "Finally, if we do
find that the ...