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In re C.M

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 24, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF C.M Minor Child, A.M., Father, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Benton County, Barbara H. Liesveld, District Associate Judge.

         The father appeals the termination of his parental rights for his child.

          Geneva L. Williams of Williams Law Office, PLLC, Cedar Rapids, for appellant father.

          Thomas J. Viner of Viner Law Firm, P.C., Cedar Rapids, for appellee mother.

          Anne Katherine Wilson, Cedar Rapids, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and May, JJ.

          MAY, JUDGE.

         The juvenile court terminated the father's parental rights to his child, C.M., in a private termination proceeding. On appeal, the father argues (1) the mother failed to establish abandonment under Iowa Code section 600A.8(3)(b) (2018) and (2) termination is not in C.M.'s best interest. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) was previously involved with this family due to the parents' substance-abuse and domestic-violence issues. Their child, C.M., born in December 2014, was placed in foster care. Ultimately, the parents separated, and the mother complied with treatment. DHS closed the case and returned C.M. to the mother's custody.

         Since the closure of the DHS case, the father has failed to maintain any relationship with C.M. He has been incarcerated periodically and continued to use drugs. The father has not seen C.M. since July 2017.

         In March 2018, the mother filed a petition for private termination. She alleged the father abandoned C.M. and his parental rights should be terminated under Iowa Code section 600A.8.

         On August 28, the juvenile court heard evidence on the mother's petition. The juvenile court then issued an order terminating the father's parental rights. The father now appeals.

         II. ...


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