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Case No. 18-0545

In the Interest of Z.M., Minor Child

S.M., Custodian-Petitioner-Appellee

C.M.-G., Mother-Respondent-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Chira L. Corwin

Attorney for Appellee Custodian

Shayla L. McCormally

Guardian ad litem

Lori A. Bullock

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Mar 06, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Paul D. Scott, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (11 pages)

            C.M.-G., appeals the juvenile court’s termination of her parental rights to her biological child, Z.M., in a private termination action.  The juvenile court terminated C.M.-G.’s parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 600A.8(1) (2017), which allows the court to terminate when the parent signed a release of custody and the release has not been revoked.  C.M.-G maintains she revoked her release of custody within the ninety-six hours contemplated by Iowa Code section 600A.4(4).  Alternatively, she maintains the juvenile court should have allowed her to revoke the release after the ninety-six hours elapsed because she established good cause for the revocation.  She contends she demonstrated good cause because (1) the release was obtained by fraud, coercion, or misrepresentation of law or fact and (2) she did not understand the release at the time she signed it.  Finally, C.M.-G argues the court should not have granted the petition to terminate her parental rights because it is not in Z.M.’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: C.M.-G has not met her burden to prove she revoked her release of custody within the statutorily-prescribed window or that there was good cause to do so afterward.  Because her release of custody is not revoked and it is in the best interests of Z.M., we affirm the termination of C.M.-G.’s parental rights to the child.

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