IN THE INTEREST OF P.M., Minor Child, A.C., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Daniel L.
Block, Associate Juvenile Judge.
C. Abbott of Abbott Law Office, P.C., Waterloo, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anna T. Stoeffler, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Melissa Anderson-Seeber, Waterloo, attorney and guardian ad
litem for minor child.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Danilson,
DANILSON, Senior Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
child. We find there is sufficient evidence in the record to
support the termination, termination is in the child's
best interests, and the mother has not shown termination
would be detrimental to the child due to the closeness of the
parent-child relationship. We affirm the decision of the
Background Facts & Proceedings
mother in this case, A.C., and her paramour, R.M., came to
the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
in February 2017, when the mother's child, K.C., born in
2016, was diagnosed with shaken baby syndrome. The child was
in R.M.'s care when the child received extensive brain
injuries. A founded child abuse report named R.M. as the
person responsible for physically abusing K.C. The mother did
not believe R.M. caused K.C.'s injuries and continued in
a relationship with him. The mother and R.M. had a child,
S.M., later in 2017. The mother's parental rights to K.C.
and S.M. and the father's rights to S.M. were terminated.
The termination was affirmed on appeal. In re K.C.,
No. 18-1249, 2019 WL 325863, at *5 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 23,
mother and R.M. are the parents of P.M., born in 2018. The
child was removed from the parents' care shortly after
birth due to the safety concerns arising from the injuries to
K.C. and placed in the home of a relative. The child was
adjudicated to be in need of assistance (CINA), pursuant to
Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(b) and (c)(2) (2018).
mother participated in services, including individual therapy
and supervised visitation. The mother continued in a
relationship with R.M. and resided at the same residence. She
does not believe R.M. caused K.C.'s injuries or that he
poses a risk to her children. The parents' failure to
acknowledge the nature and causation of K.C.'s injuries
created a barrier to the effectiveness of services.
March 4, 2019, the State filed a petition seeking termination
of the parents' rights. The juvenile court terminated the
mother's rights under section 232.116(1)(d), (g), and (h)
(2019). The court found the parents "have not
utilized the services offered or been able to demonstrate
that they are capable of providing a safe home for the
child." The court stated, "Parent education
services, individual therapy and couples counseling are all
futile efforts until both parents acknowledge a problem
exists and a need for treatment." The court concluded
termination of the mother's parental rights was in the
child's best interests. The mother appeals.