IN THE INTEREST OF O.C., Minor Child, A.C.J., Mother, Appellant, E.O.R., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox,
District Associate Judge.
mother and father each appeal the juvenile court order
terminating their parental rights. AFFIRMED.
W. Manning of Manning Law Office, PLLC, Urbandale, for
L. Mason of JL Mason Law, PLLC, Ankeny, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
E. Mayfield of Youth Law Center, Des Moines, guardian ad
litem for minor child.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
mother and father each appeal the termination of their
parental rights. We find there is substantial evidence in the
record to support termination of the mother's parental
rights, an extension of time would not be in the child's
best interests, an exception to termination should not be
applied, and the State engaged in reasonable efforts to
reunite the mother and the child. We also find there is
substantial evidence in the record to support termination of
the father's parental rights and termination is in the
child's best interests. We affirm the decision of the
Background Facts & Proceedings
mother, and E.O.R., father, are the parents of O.C., born in
2012. In May 2017, the mother tested positive for
methamphetamine. A hair test of the child was also positive
for methamphetamine. The child has some behavioral problems
and the mother had problems managing the child's
behavior. On May 19, 2017, the child was removed from the
mother's care and placed in foster care. The child was
adjudicated to be in need of assistance (CINA) under Iowa
Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2) and (n) (2017).
father had one visit with the child after the CINA
adjudication, then told social workers he did not want to
participate in services and did not want any additional
visits. The child recognized the father only as a friend. The
father may have had "unofficial" contact with the
child while the child was visiting the mother.
mother entered a substance-abuse treatment program. In
December 2017, the mother became very emotional with a
service provider and stated, in front of the child, she was
no longer willing to "jump through hoops"; she
stated she would not provide a drug screen and would no
longer participate in services or visitation. The child's
behavioral problems became worse following this incident. The
mother later told service providers she changed her mind and
would again participate in services and visitation.
January 25, 2018, the mother filed a motion for a hearing on
reasonable efforts. She claimed the Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS) had improperly restricted her visitation with
the child. After a hearing, the juvenile court found,
"the State has provided the mother with reasonable
efforts" and denied the mother's motion. The court
stated reasonable efforts ...