IN THE INTEREST OF T.M., Minor Child, M.M., Father, Appellant, E.H., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County,
Charles D. Fagan, District Associate Judge.
separately appeal the juvenile court order terminating their
J. McGinn of McGinn, Springer & Noethe, Council Bluffs,
for appellant father.
Roberta J. Megel of State Public Defender Office, Council
Bluffs, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meredith L. Lamberti,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Nerenstone, Council Bluffs, attorney and guardian ad litem
for minor child.
Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.
mother and father separately appeal the juvenile court
decision terminating their parental rights. The mother claims
the evidence does not support termination, the child can be
returned to her custody, and termination is not in the best
interests of the child. The father claims the court should
have granted him additional time for reunification, he was
not provided residential substance-abuse treatment, and
termination is not in the best interests of the child. We
Background Facts & Proceedings
mother, and M.M., putative father,  are the parents to T.M.,
born in 2017. The parents have been in a long-term
relationship since 2008. They had an older child together,
and their parental rights were terminated as to that child in
2016. Throughout these proceedings, the parents reported they
were separating on a number of occasions but the separations
did not happen or did not last very long.
October 6, 2017, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
received a report following the father's arrest
indicating he was using methamphetamine in the home while
taking care of the child. The father was in jail at the time
DHS began its investigation. The mother took a drug test,
which came back negative for illegal drugs, and the child was
allowed to remain in the mother's home. On December 4,
the juvenile court adjudicated the child in need of
January 2018, the court determined the mother regularly
allowed methamphetamine addicts to stay in her apartment and
take care of the child while she worked. The child tested
positive for methamphetamine. This incident led to a criminal
child-endangerment charge against the mother, to which she
pleaded guilty on June 26, 2018. It also led to the child
being removed from the home and placed in foster care with
the family who is caring for the child's older sibling.
mother received a suspended sentence and supervised
probation. She successfully completed probation just before
the termination hearing. The mother has held a full-time job
for over six years and has stable housing. She often has at
least one roommate to help pay the rent. ...