IN THE INTEREST OF G.T., Minor Child, B.C., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas J.
Straka, Associate Juvenile Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
R. McCarthy of Clemens, Walters, Conlon, Runde & Hiatt,
L.L.P., Dubuque, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anna T. Stoeffler (until
withdrawal) and Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorneys General,
for appellee State.
L. Hefel of Public Defender's Office, Dubuque, attorney
and guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.
juvenile court terminated the mother and father's
parental rights to G.T. under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h)
(2019). Only the mother appeals. She argues (1) grounds for
termination were not established, (2) the juvenile court
erred in denying her additional time, and (3) her bond with
G.T. precludes termination. We affirm the juvenile court.
Background Facts and Proceedings
was born in October 2017. The Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS) first took notice of G.T. in August 2018 after
police investigated some domestic violence between G.T.'s
parents. When police arrived, G.T. displayed concerning
behavior. Paramedics were dispatched to the home.
hospital, G.T. tested positive for benzodiazepine and
marijuana. The mother confessed that she fed G.T. sugar water
and lollipops for the past four days because she could not
afford formula. When G.T. was released from the hospital, he
was placed in foster care.
visitations were scheduled with both parents together. Then
the parents ended their relationship, and the mother moved
into her own apartment. So DHS held separate visitations with
each parent. After DHS inspected her home to ensure she had
proper necessities for G.T., the mother progressed to
overnight visits. But, shortly thereafter, her roof caved and
she was unable to host overnight visits. Indeed, throughout
this case, the mother struggled with maintaining stable
housing and appropriate furnishings for G.T.
March 2019, the mother had a psychological evaluation. During
the evaluation, she admitted she kept a romantic relationship
secret from DHS, she was evicted for not paying rent, and she
used marijuana about twice a month. The evaluation revealed
the mother had a second-grade reading level and a third-grade
oral-comprehension level. The psychologist opined that
"there [are] significant intellectual, academic, and
cognitive impairments for [the mother], which will have an
impact on her being able to care for a young child."
the evaluation, DHS modified the mother's services. DHS
asked her to get a substance-abuse evaluation and comply with
its recommendations. An additional provider began helping the
mother with ...