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In re E.D.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 17, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF E.D., Minor Child, J.D., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Benton County, Cynthia S. Finley, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals from the order terminating her parental rights to her child.

          Robert W. Davison, Cedar Rapids, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Annette Martin, Cedar Rapids, guardian ad litem and attorney for minor child.

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

          DOYLE, JUDGE.

         A mother appeals from the order terminating her parental rights to her child. She contends the State failed to prove the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence. She also contends termination is contrary to the child's best interests. We review her claims de novo. See In re A.S., 906 N.W.2d 467, 472 (Iowa 2018).

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         The State initiated child-in-need-of-assistance proceedings shortly after the child's birth in March 2018 due to concerns over the mother's alcohol and drug use. The mother admitted to using alcohol during the first five months of her pregnancy, and a nurse expressed concerns about the mother's use of medication prescribed to treat pain following her Cesarean section. When, at two weeks of age, the child weighed less and had a smaller head circumference than at birth, the child's doctor became concerned that the mother was not feeding the child properly. The mother's conduct during the child's hospitalization for an upper respiratory infection supported this belief.

         The juvenile court ordered the child's removal from the mother's care in March 2018 and adjudicated the child to be in need of assistance the following month. The State filed a petition seeking to terminate the mother's parental rights in September 2018. Following a January 2019 hearing, the juvenile court entered its order terminating the mother's parental rights under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2018). The mother appeals.[1]

         II. Grounds for Termination.

         In order to terminate under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h), the State must prove the following ...


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