IN THE INTEREST OF S.G., Minor Child, M.G., Father, Appellant, P.G., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox,
District Associate Judge.
mother and father separately appeal the termination of their
parental rights to their adopted daughter. AFFIRMED
ON BOTH APPEALS.
D. Dimitrova of Carr Law Firm, P.L.C., Des Moines, for
E. Dewein of Cunningham & Kelso, P.L.L.C., Urbandale, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anna T. Stoeffler, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
ConGarry D. Williams of Des Moines Juvenile Public Defender,
Des Moines, guardian ad litem for minor child.
Cathleen J. Siebrecht of Siebrecht Law Firm, Des Moines,
attorney for minor child.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
is S.G.'s biological great-grandmother. Patricia and her
husband, Michael, adopted S.G. in 2015 after the juvenile
court terminated the rights of S.G.'s biological parents.
But S.G. was not safe with her adoptive parents. At age
seven, she reported being sexually abused by Michael and
M.R., a teenaged cousin living in the home in 2017. The
juvenile court terminated the parental rights of Patricia and
Michael in February 2019. Both Patricia and Michael appeal.
Patricia challenges the statutory basis for termination,
claims termination is not in S.G.'s best interests, and
asserts termination will be detrimental to S.G. because of
their close bond. Michael also contests the statutory ground
for termination and, alternatively, seeks additional time to
obtain a psychosexual evaluation and work on his
independently reviewing the record,  we conclude the State proved
by clear and convincing evidence the statutory basis for
terminating the parental rights of both Patricia and Michael.
Michael is not entitled to delay a permanent placement for
S.G. And, despite her bond with Patricia, termination is
necessary to ensure S.G.'s safety and to foster her
long-term best interests. Based on these conclusions, we
Facts and Prior Proceedings
this case marks the second time in five years S.G. has lost
her legal relationship with a set of parents in juvenile
court. In February 2015, the court terminated the rights of
her biological parents, Justin and Dawnielle, based largely
on their unresolved substance-abuse issues. That same year,
S.G. (who was born in 2009) and her older brother, N.G. (who
was born in 2006), were adopted by Justin's grandmother,
Patricia, and her husband, Michael. Patricia also had legal
guardianship of S.G.'s teenaged cousin, M.R., who lived
in the home.
home was not a safe place for S.G. In 2017, then
seven-year-old S.G. reported being sexually abused twice in
her bedroom by M.R. S.G. also told a child-protective worker
from the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) her adoptive
father, Michael, "touched her with his penis" when
Patricia was sleeping. S.G. specifically recalled Michael