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Case No. 19-0636

In the Interest of S.P., Minor Child

T.R., Father-Petitioner-Appellee

J.P., Mother-Respondent-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant

Taryn R. McCarthy

Attorney for Appellee

Bridget L. Goldbeck

Guardian ad Litem

Matthew W. Boleyn

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Nov 27, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas J. Straka, Associate Juvenile Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  Dissent by Greer, J.  (13 pages)

            The mother of twelve-year-old S.P. appeals from the termination of her parental rights in a private action brought by the father.  The mother challenges the district court’s determinations she abandoned S.P., pursuant to Iowa Code section 600A.8(3)(b) (2018), and that termination of her parental rights is in S.P.’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: Because termination of the mother’s parental rights is not in S.P.’s best interests, we reverse the district court decision terminating the mother’s parental rights and remand for dismissal of the father’s petition.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I would affirm the district court ruling that terminated the mother’s parental rights.  The record here contains no explanation for the mother’s disappearance from S.P.’s life for over ten months.  To extend that history is not in the best interests of this child.

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