IN THE INTEREST OF H.B. and Z.R., Minor Children, T.R., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Gary P.
Strausser, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two
Strain Linder of Bray and Klockau, Iowa City, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Ellen Ramsey-Kacena,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Christopher Foster of Foster Law Office, Iowa City, attorney
and guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.
mother, Tamika, appeals the juvenile court order terminating
her parental rights to two children, five-year-old H.B. and
two-year-old Z.R. She raises four issues. First, she contends
the court should have granted a continuance to give her
attorney more time to prepare. Second, she alleges the State
did not offer clear and convincing evidence supporting the
statutory grounds for termination. Third, she contends
termination will be detrimental to H.B. and Z.R. because of
the strong parent-child bond. And fourth, she asks for more
time to reunify. Looking independently at the entire record,
we find no basis for reversal.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
mid-summer drug raid at Tamika's home in 2018 resulted in
the emergency removal of H.B. and Z.R. Authorities found she
and her husband, Matthew, were under the influence of
methamphetamine while caring for the children. In the wake of
this raid, Tamika pleaded guilty to child endangerment and
possession of methamphetamine; she received a deferred
summer, Tamika obtained a substance-abuse evaluation that
assessed her with amphetamine dependence. She failed to
complete the recommended substance-abuse treatment and missed
more than twenty of the randomly requested drug tests.
end of August, the court adjudicated H.B. and Z.R. as
children in need of assistance (CINA). Showing no progress in
addressing her addiction, Tamika never regained custody of
the children. During his time in foster care, H.B.
demonstrated "fairly significant behavioral and learning
issues," according to the report of the guardian ad
litem. His younger sister, Z.R., adapted well to foster care,
developing a strong attachment to her foster mother. The DHS
tried to obtain an area education agency evaluation for Z.R.
but could not do so because of Tamika's lack of
August and November 2018, Tamika attended only half of the
thirty-two visitations offered with her children. Her
visitation with H.B. caused him emotional harm. The DHS
reported his behavior would decline after each interaction
"and even more so when his mother did not show up for
the interactions." To DHS, "[i]t became clear that
Tamika's sporadic attendance was causing her child
distress." H.B. expressed fear of his mother and
frequently revisited the trauma of the police raid on their
recommendation of his therapist, the juvenile court suspended
H.B.'s visitation with his mother. The court made clear
Tamika could resume interactions with H.B. if she obtained a
psychological evaluation and a substance-abuse evaluation and
followed up on their respective recommendations. But she did
not do so. Tamika's visitations with Z.R. continued.
resisted other services recommended by the DHS and missed
five appointments scheduled with the caseworker in November
and December 2019. When Tamika finally attended a family team
meeting in early January 2019, she was uncooperative and
swore at the caseworker. The DHS continued to reach out to