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In re A.G.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 24, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF A.G., Minor Child, J.G., Father, Appellant, A.S., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Cynthia S. Finley, District Associate Judge.

         A mother and a father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their child.

          Michael M. Lindeman of Lindeman Law, Cedar Rapids, for appellant father.

          Katie Eastvold, North Liberty, for appellant mother.

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

          Jessica L. Wiebrand, Cedar Rapids, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         A mother and a father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their child, A.G.[1] The mother contends grounds for termination have not been proved by clear and convincing evidence, the State failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify her with the child, termination of her parental rights is not in the child's best interests, and the parent-child bond should preclude termination of parental rights. The father contends he can provide the child with a safe home when he is released from prison. Both parents ask for an additional six months to achieve reunification. We find no reason to disturb the juvenile court's findings or conclusions, and we affirm on both appeals.

         As background, these parents lost their parental rights to another child in December 2017. In the order terminating their parental rights to A.G.'s sibling, L.G., the juvenile court noted:

[The father] has four older children, none of whom are in his custody. [The mother] has one older child who has resided with [maternal grand]parents for most of the child's life. [The mother] and [the father]'s relationships with their older children have been negatively affected by parental drug use . . . . [The mother] acknowledges using illegal substances off and on since age [eleven]. Her primary drug of choice has been methamphetamine. [The father] also reports drug use beginning in early adolescence. [The father] has used multiple substances, including marijuana, cocaine, LSD, mushrooms, methamphetamine and heroin. [His] current primary drug of choice is heroin, which he occasionally combines with methamphetamine.

         The juvenile court terminated their parental rights to L.G., finding:

Neither [parent] ha[s] been able to establish any significant period of sobriety during the time since the child's removal. They continue to be at significant risk of incarceration due to repeated criminal activity. An additional six months is very unlikely to result in the ability to safely return this child to the care of a parent.

         The mother was in jail from December 2017 to April 2018 related to probation violations. The father began serving a ten-year prison term on drug charges in June 2018 ...


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