IN THE INTEREST OF M.H., Minor Child, K.H., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County,
Charles D. Fagan, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
J. McGinn of McGinn, Springer & Noethe, Council Bluffs,
for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Roberta J. Megel of State Public Defender Office, Council
Bluffs, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.
mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her
parental rights. She claims the evidence does not support the
grounds for termination and the court should have granted her
additional time to achieve reunification with the child. We
find sufficient evidence supports a ground for termination,
an extension is not warranted, and termination is in the best
interests of the child. We affirm.
Background Facts & Proceedings
the mother of M.H., who was born in 2018. The child was
removed from the mother's care on June 24, 2018, after
the mother's paramour caused visible bruising on the
infant. The mother called the police and reported her
paramour's actions. The child was removed due to concerns
the paramour would return to the mother's home.
August 8, the mother participated in a substance-abuse and
mental-health evaluation. In her evaluation, the mother
disclosed marijuana, alcohol, and cocaine use during the
prior three years. She was diagnosed with a "mild
substance use disorder" relating to marijuana and a
screening test revealed a "low probability" of a
substance use disorder. She was tested for illegal
substances, which came back negative. The mental-health
portion of the evaluation indicated a moderate probability of
an adjustment disorder. The evaluator recommended outpatient
treatment for both substance-abuse and mental-health therapy.
August 13, the court adjudicated the child in need of
assistance (CINA). At the adjudication hearing, the court
ordered the mother to "participate in family safety,
risk, and permanency services" (FSRP), submit to random
drug screens, and obtain a substance-abuse evaluation if she
tested positive for illegal substances. The child was placed
with a foster family.
mother obtained a no-contact order, which the paramour
violated multiple times during the CINA proceedings. The
paramour had assaulted the mother in the past. The mother
entered into a residential domestic-abuse program at Phoenix
House, where she participated in therapy and she progressed
to semi-supervised visits
a dispositional hearing in September, the court ordered a
psychological evaluation, and the department of human
services (DHS) recommended intensive therapy. The court noted
the mother was "actively participating in services