IN THE INTEREST OF W.B. and A.B.-S., Minor Children, S.S., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Stephanie
Forker Perry, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental relationship
with her two daughters. AFFIRMED.
Jessica R. Noll of Deck Law PLC, Sioux City, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anna T. Stoeffler, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Vakulskas Joly, Sioux City, attorney and guardian ad litem
for minor children.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.
appeals the termination of her parental relationship with her
daughters, two-year-old W.B. and eight-year-old A.B.-S.
Sarah's petition on appeal raises three claims:
• The State did not meet the statutory requirements for
• Termination is not in the children's best
interests because of their strong bond with her.
• The juvenile court should have granted six more months
for Sarah to regain custody of the children.
reviewing the factual record and legal arguments anew, we
reach the same result as the juvenile court. Because of her
untreated substance abuse and overall instability, Sarah
cannot resume care of her daughters, now or in the
foreseeable future. Their best interests are served by moving
toward permanency through severance of their legal ties with
Facts and Prior Proceedings
was born in October 2010; her father is Ryan. W.B. was born
in January 2017; her father is Joshua. The family drew
the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
at W.B.'s birth. When the newborn tested positive for
marijuana, Sarah agreed to a safety plan.
testing was part of that safety plan. But in July 2017, when
W.B. was six months old, Sarah refused to submit to
urinalysis, admitting the test would come back positive.
Along with her own substance-abuse concerns, Sarah recognized
the danger of allowing Joshua to care for W.B. because of his
alcohol abuse. Yet she left W.B. with Joshua for an overnight
visit, against the DHS's directions. Sarah described
herself as "addicted to Josh."
summer of 2017, police arrested Sarah for domestic abuse
assault as a serious misdemeanor, assault as a simple
misdemeanor, and criminal mischief. The police reported Sarah
"sprayed Joshua in the face with spray paint, threw a
glass at him that cut his neck, swung a bat at him but
missed, and assaulted Joshua's 77-year-old
grandmother" by spitting on her and punching her in the
face. W.B. remained in Joshua's care for four days ...