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Case No. 19-0944

In the Interest of E.S., Minor Child

E.S., Father-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Father

Adam M. Stone

Attorney for Appellee State

Meredith L. Lamberti, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Marc Elcock

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 25, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clarke County, Monty Franklin, District Associate Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (5 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights.  The juvenile court found he failed to maintain significant and meaningful contact with his seven-year-old son.  OPINION HOLDS: Our de novo review reveals inadequate proof that the father failed to maintain significant and meaningful contact with the child.  The father attended almost all the offered visitations, only missing for serious medical events.  During visits he did more than just show up: he engaged with his son, provided meals, clothing, and gifts, and had positive conversations.  He also completed substance-abuse treatment, showing a genuine effort to complete the responsibilities prescribed in the case permanency plan.  The State failed to prove the ground for termination, so we reverse the order and remand for further proceedings. 

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