IN THE INTEREST OF S.S., Minor Child, A.S., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Adam D.
Sauer, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
Barbara J. Westphal, Belmond, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Crystal Ely of McGuire Law Firm, Mason City, 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 to her
child, S.S. born in September 2018. The mother asserts she
should be allowed an additional six months to achieve
reunification and termination is not in the child's best
review termination decisions de novo. In re A.B.,
815 N.W.2d 764, 773 (Iowa 2012). The paramount concern in
termination proceedings is the best interest of the child.
In re J.E., 723 N.W.2d 793, 798 (Iowa 2006).
mother has had nine children, none of whom remain in her
care. Her parental rights to her eight older children were
terminated in 2016 due to the same issues presented here:
unresolved domestic violence, substance abuse, and
was removed from the father and mother's care in December
following a domestic-abuse assault of the mother by father.
The ensuing child-abuse assessment was founded for failure to
provide adequate supervision. Other concerns noted were the
father and mother's methamphetamine use, mother's
continuing mental-health needs, inadequate housing, and
January 18, 2019, the child was adjudicated a child in need
of assistance. At the time of the adjudication, the father
was incarcerated. The juvenile court continued the
child's removal from the home because of the mother's
"lack of parenting skills, and a lack of
stability." The court ordered family safety, risk and
permanency services; mental-health services; substance-abuse
services; drug testing; referral to Family Treatment Court;
and visitation. The child has remained in foster care since
the services provided, in May 2019, the mother relapsed on
methamphetamine and attempted suicide. She was involuntarily
hospitalized for four days.
combined permanency and termination-of-parental-rights
hearing was held on July 16, 2019. The mother requested
additional time to seek reunification, noting she had
obtained housing, was involved in individual and couples
counseling, was employed (though not then working due to the
seasonal nature of the work), and was fairly consistent in
visiting the child. The child's guardian ad ...