IN THE INTEREST OF A.W., H.D., J.D., and L.D., Minor Children, B.D., Mother, Appellant, H.D., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Taylor County, Monty
Franklin, District Associate Judge.
mother of four children and the father of the youngest three
children separately appeal orders terminating their parental
Hobbs, West Des Moines, for appellant mother.
P. O'Toole, Des Moines, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
J. Zimmerman of Nielsen & Zimmerman, PLC, Corning,
attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Tabor, JJ.
mother of four children, born in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013,
and the father of the youngest three children, separately
appeal orders terminating their parental rights. The mother
contends the State failed to prove the grounds for
termination cited by the district court. In that context, she
argues the department of human services did not make
reasonable efforts to reunite her with the children and the
children were bonded to her. The father contends termination
is not in the children's best interests. Under that
rubric, he challenges the efforts made by the department to
reunify him with the children and argues he worked to
maintain a strong bond with them.
district court terminated the mother's parental rights
pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e), (f), and
(l) (2018). We may affirm if we find clear and
convincing evidence to support any of the grounds for
termination. In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703,
707 (Iowa 2010). On our de novo review, we focus on
subsection (f), which requires proof of several elements,
including proof the children could not be returned to the
department became involved with the family in 2016 following
allegations of domestic violence and methamphetamine use
within the household. The State filed a petition to have the
children adjudicated in need of assistance. The district
court granted the petition and allowed the children to remain
with the mother, under the department's supervision.
mother tested positive for methamphetamine while the children
were in her care. In 2017, all four children were removed
from the mother's custody and were placed with the father
of the oldest child, where they remained through the
termination hearing seventeen months later.
to the department social worker assigned to the case, the
mother did not consistently engage in reunification services.
For example, from December 12, 2016 through June 12, 2018,
the department "requested 35 random drug screens"
and the mother only "completed 11." Of those
eleven, nine "were positive for methamphetamine."
Similarly, the mother was afforded four supervised visits
with her children each month but only attended "one or
two." The social worker characterized her bond with the