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In re M.B.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 19, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF M.B., T.B., M.B., S.B., and S.B., Minor Children, T.S., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Adair County, Monty Franklin, District Associate Judge.

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

          Adam D. Hanson of Hanson Law Office, Winterset, for appellant mother.

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

          Andrew J. Zimmerman of Nielsen & Zimmerman, PLC, Corning, 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 clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination and termination is in the children's best interests. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         T.S. is the mother of M.B., born in 2002; S.B., born in 2005; M.B., born in 2006; S.B., born in 2010; and T.B., born in 2011. The father of the three oldest children is Bd.B. The father of the fourth child is Bn.B. The father of the youngest child is J.J. The mother is currently married to A.S. The mother has a lengthy history of mental-health and substance-abuse problems. There were also concerns about domestic violence in the home.

         The State filed a petition alleging the children were in need of assistance (CINA) on May 4, 2017, based on reports the mother took her spouse's prescription medication and sold it for opioids. Additionally, the oldest child told social workers the mother had given the child marijuana. The children were adjudicated CINA pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2) and (n) (2017).

         Prior to the dispositional hearing, the mother and her spouse got into an argument in front of the children and the mother punched a mirror, breaking it, and causing an injury requiring stitches on her finger. Also, after an argument with her spouse, the mother locked herself into the bathroom and carved, "I love [A.S.]," on her arm. Counseling was recommended for all of the children due to the chaos in their home.

         In the dispositional order, filed on June 18, the juvenile court removed the children from the mother's care. The oldest child was placed with the maternal grandmother. The next two children were placed with their father. The two youngest children were placed in foster care. After the children were removed from the mother's care, three of the children stated they previously had been sexually abused by a relative or family friend while in the mother's care. There were also allegations A.S. had physically abused two of the children.

         The mother exhibited poor impulse control and anger issues. She would become very upset with service providers and yell at them. The mother did not consistently participate in mental-health services. Furthermore, the mother continued her relationship with A.S., despite the domestic violence problems in their relationship. The oldest child refused to ...


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