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In re A.W.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 5, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF A.W., M.W., and C.P., Minor Children, M.P., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Scott D. Strait, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights.

          AFFIRMED. Roberta J. Megel of State Public Defender Office, Council Bluffs, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anna T. Stoeffler, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Marti D. Nerenstone, Council Bluffs, guardian ad litem for minor children.

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

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights. We find there is sufficient evidence in the record to support termination of the mother's parental rights. We find the services provided by the State were reasonable under the circumstances. Also, we find termination of the mother's parental rights is in the children's best interests. We affirm the juvenile court's decision.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         M.P. is the mother of twins, A.W. and M.W., born in 2016, and C.P., born in 2018.[1] The mother's parental rights to an older child, D.W., were terminated in 2015. A.W. and M.W. were removed from the mother's care on August 8, 2017, and placed in foster care. The mother tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana. Hair testing of the children was also positive for methamphetamine.

         On September 26, A.W. and M.W. were adjudicated to be children in need of assistance (CINA), under Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2), (n), and (o) (2017). In October, the mother was charged with domestic-abuse assault for punching the maternal grandmother. The mother did not report for random drug tests or obtain a substance-abuse evaluation. She was sporadic in attending visitation with the children.

         The mother tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana in April 2018. When C.P. was born, the mother also tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana. C.P. was removed from the mother's care on May 2, 2018, and placed in foster care. C.P. was adjudicated CINA under section 232.2(6)(c)(2), (n), and (o) (2018).

         The mother completed a substance-abuse treatment program in August. She then attended outpatient substance-abuse and mental-health treatment. The mother was placed in a residential correctional facility (RCF) in October and November. After the mother left the RCF, she began living with the maternal great-grandmother, who subsequently died. The mother was inconsistent in participation in services and attending visitation. Additionally, she did not attend the children's medical appointments, although she was requested to attend.

         The State filed a petition to terminate the mother's parental rights to A.W. and M.W. on August 31, 2018. A petition to terminate the mother's parental rights to C.P. was filed on December 24, 2018. The mother did not visit the children between December 24, 2018, and the date of the termination hearing, January 24, 2019. There was ...


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