IN THE INTEREST OF S.R., Minor Child, J.R., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Eric
J. Nelson, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the order terminating her parental rights.
J. McGinn of McGinn, Springer & Noethe, Council Bluffs,
for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meredith L. Lamberti,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
C. Goaley, Council Bluffs, attorney and guardian ad litem for
Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.
mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her
parental rights. She claims the evidence does not support
termination, the court should have granted additional time
for reunification, and termination is not in the best
interests of the child. We find sufficient evidence supports
the termination, additional time is unwarranted, and
termination is in the best interests of the child. We affirm.
Background Facts & Proceedings
the mother of S.R., born in 2018. Her parental rights to an
older child, J.E., were terminated in July 2018 due to
ongoing substance abuse. She has been unsuccessfully
discharged from multiple treatment programs. The mother
admitted using methamphetamine while pregnant with S.R.,
though both mother and child tested negative at the time of
S.R.'s birth. The child was removed from the mother at
birth and placed with the maternal grandmother, who also has
custody of the older sibling. On September 13, the court
adjudicated S.R. a child in need of assistance (CINA).
the mother was the child's primary caretaker during the
day under the supervision of family members. She obtained a
job and continued to visit the child frequently under family
supervision until December. On December 31, the mother had an
altercation with the grandmother. After that, the
mother's visits were supervised by a Family Safety, Risk,
and Permanency (FSRP) service worker instead of family. The
visits were all reported to go well.
Starting in mid-September, the mother began missing drug
tests, and those she appeared for came back positive for
methamphetamine. She completed outpatient treatment in
January 2019, despite positive sweat-patch drug tests in
September, October, and December. After outpatient treatment
and a January permanency hearing recommending termination of
her parental rights, the mother did not complete any
requested drug tests until May. In March, the mother began
researching different treatment programs, and on May 2, began
inpatient treatment in Des Moines. She admitted to using
methamphetamine the day before treatment. She was doing well
in the program at the time of the termination hearing.
termination hearing was on June 21. The court heard testimony
from the social worker, the FSRP worker, the mother, and the
maternal grandfather. The court terminated the mother's
parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g),
(h), and (l) (2019). She appeals.