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Case No. 20-0936

In the Interest of J.W., Minor Child

D.W., Father-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Father

Monte McCoy

Attorney for Appellee State

Ellen Ramsey-Kacena, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Mary Baird Krafka

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 23, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Monroe County, William Owens, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Greer, P.J., Ahlers, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (7 pages)

            A father challenges the termination of his parental rights, asserting (1) a guardianship is in his daughter’s best interests and (2) the department of human services (DHS) failed to make reasonable efforts to reunite them.  OPINION HOLDS: Because of the lack of progress in the father’s substance-abuse, mental-health, homelessness, and joblessness issues, and the offer of a permanent home with the maternal grandfather, who has been the child’s primary caretaker for most of her life, we conclude termination is in her best interests.  The grandfather can provide a permanent and safe home, so we see no need to prolong the period of instability and impermanence.  We find the father failed to preserve his reasonable-efforts claim by not raising objections earlier; yet we would still find the DHS made reasonable efforts. 

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