IN THE INTEREST OF C.M. and D.M., Minor Children, D.W., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Deborah
Farmer Minot, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
C. Pavelich of Spies, Pavelich & Foley, Iowa City, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
D. Jacobsen, Cedar Rapids, attorney and guardian ad litem for
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.
juvenile court terminated a mother's parental rights to
her children, C.M. and D.M. On appeal, the mother argues (1)
the State failed to prove grounds for termination exist under
Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2019) and (2) the
mother's strong bond with the children precludes
termination. We affirm the juvenile court.
Background Facts and Proceedings
was born in 2016. In September 2017, the Iowa Department of
Human Services (DHS) first became involved with C.M.'s
family. At that time, the father was on probation for
multiple burglaries. During a home visit, probation officers
discovered cocaine and marijuana. The mother claimed the
drugs were hers. Both parents were arrested. DHS removed C.M.
from the parents' custody. Later, the mother renounced
ownership of the drugs. Even so, she pled guilty to multiple
charges, including possession of cocaine with intent to
deliver. She received a deferred judgment and probation.
months that followed, the mother complied with some services.
In late December, the juvenile court returned C.M. to the
mother's custody. The court ordered the father's
visits be fully supervised. The mother was expressly
"not authorized" to supervise contact between the
father and C.M.
March 2018, D.M. was born. In July, both parents ceased
contact with providers and missed a scheduled hearing.
Moreover, DHS learned that-despite the juvenile court's
December order-the mother and children were residing with the
father. DHS removed the children. A sample of C.M.'s hair
came back positive for methamphetamine, cocaine, and
marijuana. D.M. did not have enough hair to test.
the children's removal in July, the mother failed to keep
consistent contact with DHS, ceased drug testing, missed
visits, and failed to progress from fully-supervised visits.
She was also arrested for operating while intoxicated.
State petitioned for termination as to both parents. The
juvenile court heard evidence on April 3 and 29, 2019. The
juvenile court terminated both ...