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Case No. 19-1499

In the Interest of L.J., Minor Child

L.J., Mother-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Emily DeRonde

Attorney for Appellee State

Gretchen Witte Kraemer, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Kathryn Miller

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Nov 06, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (9 pages)

            A mother appeals the order terminating her parental rights to her daughter after she found her four-year-old dead due to an overdose of Benadryl.  She contests the statutory grounds under Iowa Code section 232.116(1) (2019), the best-interests determination under section 232.116(2), and the Court’s decision to not apply the permissive factor in section 232.116(3)(c).  She also claims the State did not make reasonable efforts to reunite her with L.J.  OPINION HOLDS: DHS made reasonable efforts toward reunification consistent with L.J.’s best interests.  Also, the mother has unresolved trauma and mental-health challenges that prevent reunification with L.J.  Next, we find troubling the mother’s pattern of neglectful parenting.  Finally, the record does not show their relationship remained so close that L.J. will be disadvantaged by the termination.

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