IN THE INTEREST OF R.B., Minor Child, L.R., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine
Dalton, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
Barbara E. Maness, Davenport, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
J. Arnold, Davenport, attorney and guardian ad litem for
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and May, JJ.
juvenile court terminated the mother's parental rights to
her child, R.B.On appeal, the mother contends the juvenile
court erred (1) in waiving the reasonable-efforts
requirement, (2) in concluding the child could not be
returned to her care in the near future, (3) in declining to
provide the mother with an additional six months to work
toward reunification, and (4) in finding termination was in
R.B.'s best interest. We affirm the juvenile court.
Background Facts and Proceedings
was born in 2018. Prior to R.B.'s birth, her mother had
five other children. In November 2016, the mother came to the
attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
because of her drug use and neglect of her children. The
juvenile court adjudicated each of the five as a child in
need of assistance. All five were removed from the
mother's care. The mother was jailed for roughly one
month for violating probation. Following her release, DHS
attempted to engage the mother in services. The mother's
response was poor: she did not show up for all of her drug
testing; she did not complete recommended substance-abuse
treatment; she did not attend parenting sessions; and she
often missed visits with the children.
2017, the mother tested positive for methamphetamine,
cocaine, and THC. A new warrant was issued for her violation
of probation requirements. The mother chose to remain out on
warrant until she was finally arrested in March 2018. During
that ten-month period, the mother did not contact DHS to
check on the welfare of her children.
mid-March 2018, the mother was sentenced to prison. The
mother gave birth to R.B. a few weeks later. R.B. was removed
from the mother's custody at the hospital just days after
her birth. R.B. has not seen her mother since.
juvenile court adjudicated R.B. as a child in need of
assistance. DHS placed R.B. in the same foster home as two of
made repeated efforts to facilitate visitation between R.B.
and the mother. Those efforts failed because the mother
declined to return documentation that would allow the care
coordinator to bring R.B. to the prison.
2018, the juvenile court entered a dispositional order
waiving the State's requirement to provide reasonable
efforts toward reunification. In September 2018, the mother
asked the court to reinstate the reasonable-efforts
requirement. The court did not grant her request. On