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Case No. 19-1552

In the Interest of I.J., L.J., Z.M., and T.M., Minor Children

A.T., Father of I.J. and L.J.-Appellant

M.M., Mother-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Father

Colin McCormack

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Nicholas A. Bailey

Attorney for Appellee State

Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Jeremy M. Evans

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jan 23, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Kimberly Ayotte, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (7 pages)

            Monique, mother of four children, I.J., L.J., Z.M., and T.M. and Antawun, father of I.J. and L.J., challenge the juvenile court’s termination of their parental rights under Iowa Code § 231.116(1) (2019) and claim that the district court should have preserved the parent-child relationships because of their strong bonds with the children.  OPINION HOLDS: Because neither parent contests termination under Iowa Code § 231.116(1)(f), we need not discuss this step.  Also, the record does not support both parents’ claims that their relationships were so close that termination would bring harm to the children.  In addition, because the record shows I.J. and L.J felt secure with their foster parents and that Monique’s inconsistency in visits had negative impacts on Z.M. and T.M, Section 232.116(3)(c) did not compel a different outcome. Finally, because Monique has had more than a year to address her substance-abuse disorder, it is unlikely that Monique could provide a stable home for these children at the end of a six-month extension.  We affirm on both appeals. 

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