IN THE INTEREST OF J.E., Minor Child, A.E., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Keokuk County, Daniel
Kitchen, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
J. Brock of Brock Law Office, Washington, for appellant
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Gretchen Witte Kraemer,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
E.M. Lujan of Lloyd, McConnell, Davis & Lujan, L.L.P.,
Washington, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights. She
claims she should have been granted an additional six months
to achieve reunification with the child. We find an extension
is not warranted and termination is in the best interests of
the child. We affirm.
Background Facts & Proceedings
the mother of J.E., born in 2015. The mother's husband,
C.S., is the legal father of J.E. A.M. is the child's
biological father. Both fathers have consented to termination
of their parental rights.
family came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human
Services (DHS) in August 2016 due to the mother's use of
methamphetamine while caring for the child. The mother began
voluntary services with DHS. On October 6, 2017, the child
was placed with C.S. on a voluntary basis after the mother
tested positive for methamphetamine. The mother later
contested the removal, and the court ordered the child's
placement in C.S.'s care. In late 2017, the paternity of
the child was called into question by the mother. On December
10, the child was adjudicated in need of assistance (CINA).
Paternity testing was ordered.
January 2018, the parties stipulated to placing the child
with the maternal grandmother.
February, C.S. was eliminated as the biological father; in
August, A.M. was confirmed as the biological father. C.S.
eventually withdrew from the child's life.
mother struggled with her substance-abuse problems throughout
the juvenile proceedings. She was arrested on drug charges in
the summer of 2018. She participated in several
substance-abuse evaluations but did not follow through with
recommended treatment, at times claiming her chronic pain
medication precluded her participation in treatment. She
missed other ...