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In re A.C.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 11, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF A.C., I.C., and A.C., Minor Children, ST., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Steven Guiter, District Associate Judge.

         The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to three of her child

          Bryan Webber of Carr Law Office, P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Tamara Knight of Knight Law, Greenfield, guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.

          Potterfield, Presiding Judge.

         The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to three of her children, [1] who are all age three or younger.[2] The juvenile court terminated the mother's parental rights to each child pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e) and (h), citing the mother's unresolved use of methamphetamine, housing instability, and issues involving mental health. On appeal, the mother claims there is insufficient evidence to support the statutory grounds for termination and, in the alternative, asks for an extension of time to work toward reunification.

         We review termination proceedings de novo. In re M.D., 921 N.W.2d 229, 232 (Iowa 2018). In our review, our fundamental concern is the best interests of the children at issue. Id.

         "On appeal, we may affirm the juvenile court's termination order on any ground that we find supported by clear and convincing evidence." In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 707 (Iowa 2010). Here, we choose to review the evidence supporting termination under paragraph (h), which allows the court to terminate when each of the following is proved by clear and convincing evidence:

(1) The child is three years of age or younger.
(2) The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance pursuant to section 232.96.
(3) The child has been removed from the physical custody of the child's parents for at least six months of the last twelve months, or for the last six consecutive months and any trial period at home has been less than thirty days.
(4) There is clear and convincing evidence that the child cannot be returned to the custody of the child's parents as provided in ...

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