IN THE INTEREST OF N.M.-R., Minor Child, K.M.-R., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Barbara H.
Liesveld, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
Shimanovsky of Iowa Legal Aid, Cedar Rapids, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meredith Lamberti, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Gunderson Trachta of Linn County Advocate, Inc., Cedar
Rapids, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.
juvenile court terminated a mother's parental rights to
her child, N.M.-R. On appeal, the mother contends (1) the
State failed to prove grounds for termination, (2)
termination was not in the child's best interest, and (3)
the State failed to provide reasonable efforts toward
reunification. We affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings
was born in June 2017. In January 2018, the Iowa Department of
Human Services (DHS) intervened because of reports the mother
was not appropriately supervising or caring for the child.
DHS learned the mother had left the child unattended and
placed the child in dangerous situations. The mother also fed
the child foods that were not appropriate for her age. For
example, when the mother ran out of formula, she gave the
child condensed milk. She also gave the child chicken, pop,
tea, sticky candy, hard candy, and more when the child was
only six months old.
responded by providing safety services, including the
implementation of a safety plan. But still the mother
struggled to provide adequate care and supervision. For
example, she continued to pull the child off the floor by her
arm. She failed to properly hold the child on her lap. And
she continued using marijuana while caring for N.M.-R. In an
affidavit supporting removal, a social worker opined the
mother "lack[ed] insight into how she [was] impaired
after smoking marijuana when providing supervision to her
February 2018, the mother was arrested for stealing from a
store. N.M.-R. was with her at the time. DHS
removed N.M.-R. and placed her in foster care.
this case, the mother struggled with mental-health and
substance-abuse issues. In April 2018, she was diagnosed with
borderline personality disorder, mild intellectual
disability, and a moderate cannabis-use disorder. She
completed substance-abuse evaluations, but she was not
consistent in pursuing treatment. Between April 2018 and
March 2019, the mother tested positive for marijuana seven
times. In the first three months of 2019, she "no
showed" for drug testing on six occasions.
State filed for termination in January 2019. A termination
hearing was scheduled for March.
February, the mother filed a motion requesting a hearing on
the State's reasonable efforts. The motion also asked for
the termination hearing to be postponed. Following the
reasonable-efforts hearing, the juvenile court found
reasonable efforts toward reunification had been made. The
juvenile court also declined to postpone the termination
termination hearing was held on March 28. Ultimately, the
juvenile court entered an order terminating the ...