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Case No. 19-0426

In the Interest of L.M., C.K., and J.T., Minor Children

S.M., Mother-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Julie A. Forsyth

Attorney for Appellee State

Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad litem

M. Kathryn Miller

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jun 05, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother challenges the termination of her parental rights to three children, raising three claims: (1) termination is not in the children’s best interests under Iowa Code section 232.116(2) (2018); (2) the juvenile court should have declined to terminate under section 232.116(3) because of the closeness of the parent-child relationship and because the children were placed with relatives; and (3) the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) did not provide reasonable reunification services because of the high level of turnover among the caseworkers assigned to her family.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we conclude termination is in the children’s best interests, the closeness of the parent-child bond does not outweigh termination, the children were not in the legal custody of relatives, and the mother failed to preserve error on her reasonable-efforts argument relating to caseworker turnover, we affirm the juvenile court’s termination of her parental rights.

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