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In re S.K.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 24, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF S.K., Minor Child, A.L., Mother, Appellant.

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

         A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights. AFFIRMED.

          Anne M. Rohling of Rohling Law, PLLC, Council Bluffs, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meredith L. Lamberti, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Maura C. Goaley, Council Bluffs, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Blane, S.J. [*]

          BLANE, SENIOR JUDGE

         The mother, Ashley, did not sufficiently address her substance-abuse issues to resume care of her child, S.K., and termination of her parental rights is supported under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2018).

         We review termination proceedings de novo. In re A.B., 815 N.W.2d 764, 773 (Iowa 2012). "Our primary concern . . . has always been the best interests of the child[ren]." In re L.T., 924 N.W.2d 521, 529 (Iowa 2019). We begin by considering the statutory grounds. "When the juvenile court terminates parental rights on more than one statutory ground, we may affirm the juvenile court's order on any ground we find supported by the record." A.B., 815 N.W.2d at 774. The juvenile court terminated Ashley's parental rights under paragraphs (b), (e), (g), (h), and (l) of Iowa Code section 232.116(1). We consider the grounds of section 232.116(1)(h), which allows the court to terminate parental rights if all of the following factors are met:

(1) The child is three years of age or younger.
(2) The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance pursuant to section 232.96.
(3) The child has been removed from the physical custody of the child's parents for at least twelve of the last eighteen months, or for the last twelve consecutive months and any trial period at home has been less than thirty days.
(4) There is clear and convincing evidence that at the present time the child cannot be returned to the custody of the child's ...

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