IN THE INTEREST OF B.P., Minor Child, R.L., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Romonda
Belcher, District Associate Judge.
father appeals the termination of his parental rights.
M. Northfield, Urbandale, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anna T. Stoeffler, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Mayfield of Youth Law Center, Des Moines, guardian ad litem
for minor child.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Greer, JJ.
the father of B.P., born in 2012. On April 4, 2016, the
juvenile court issued a temporary order removing B.P. from
the father's care. On May 17, the court adjudicated B.P.
a child in need of assistance. Ultimately, on December 12,
2018, the State filed a petition to terminate the
father's parental rights. Despite that petition, the
court declined to terminate his parental rights and instead
ordered a permanency goal of a guardianship with B.P.'s
maternal grandmother. Following Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS) conditions, the court held another termination
hearing on April 18, 2019. The court issued an order
terminating the father's parental rights on May
father appeals the termination of his parental rights,
arguing the State failed to make reasonable efforts toward
reunification. In doing so, the father waived all other
issues for appeal, including the statutory grounds for
termination. See L.N.S. v. S.W.S., 854 N.W.2d 699,
703 (Iowa 2013) ("Where a party has failed to present
any substantive analysis or argument on an issue, the issue
has been waived."). Despite his arguments at the
hearing, the juvenile court terminated his parental rights
under multiple statutory grounds, including Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(b) (2018) (allowing termination upon "clear
and convincing evidence that the child has been abandoned or
deserted"). We thus affirm the termination under section
232.116(1)(b). Under this section, reasonable efforts to
reunify the parent with the child are not required. See
In re A.D., No. 19-0389, 2019 WL 2371928, at *1 (Iowa
Ct. App. June 5, 2019); see also In re C.B., 611
N.W.2d 489, 492 (Iowa 2000) (noting other statutory grounds
for termination "contain a common element which
implicates the reasonable effort requirement").
Therefore, the State was not required to make reasonable
efforts toward reunification before terminating the
father's parental rights under Iowa Code section
the State were required to make reasonable efforts toward
reunification, the father "had the obligation to demand
other, different or additional services prior to the
termination hearing." In re S.R., 600 N.W.2d
63, 65 (Iowa Ct. App. 1999). Thus, his failure to make such a
demand waives the issue on appeal. Id. What is more,
the father's petition identifies no services he wished to
receive, and we find no evidence he ever demanded other,
different, or additional services.Consequently, the
reasonable-efforts issue is not preserved for our review.
Even so, we note a DHS report lists numerous services offered
to the family, including evaluation and treatment for the
father's substance-abuse and mental-health issues.
DHS violated the permanency plan of a guardianship with the
maternal grandmother, the father now asserts the juvenile
court too quickly terminated his parental
rights. Yet, at the termination hearing, the State
presented extensive evidence of the father's
substance-abuse and mental-health issues and his lack of
contact with B.P. since removal. To further support
termination, the grandmother cannot access needed medical
services for B.P. as her guardian, but she could if B.P. were
covered under her insurance, which requires she adopt B.P. On
our de novo review, we agree with the juvenile court and
affirm the termination of the father's parental rights.