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Case No. 19-1003

In the Interest of W.H. and G.H., Minor Children

S.H., Father-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Father

Christopher A. Clausen

Attorney for Appellee State

Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Shannon M. Leighty

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 11, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Stephen A. Owen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  Special concurrence by Tabor, P.J.  (9 pages)

            A father appeals the juvenile court’s termination of his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude termination was appropriate under Iowa law and was in the children’s best interests.  We affirm.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: Although I agree the evidence supports termination, I write separately to emphasize the role courts play in overseeing the State’s reasonable efforts to reunify families.  Scholars have persuasively argued such efforts require culturally competent services.  African-American children are disproportionately overrepresented in child welfare and foster care systems, and courts can take greater consideration of ethnic and cultural contacts in considering the child’s best interests.  But I agree the father’s appeal issues do not put that question squarely before us. 

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