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In the Interest of G.Y., Minor Child
Attorney for Appellant Father
Agnes G. Warutere
Attorney for Appellee State
Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General
Guardian ad litem
Nicole Garbis Nolan
Court of Appeals
Court of Appeals Opinion
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lynn Poschner, District Associate Judge. conditionally affirmed and remanded. Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ. Opinion by Tabor, J. (9 pages)
A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his son, arguing the juvenile court erred in three respects: First, by failing to send the proper notice under the Iowa Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to the Native American tribe of his claimed ancestry; second, by terminating his parental rights when the State failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify him with his son as required by Iowa Code section 232.102(6)(b) (2018); and third, by finding the State proved the child could not be returned to his custody. OPINION HOLDS: We find the father’s affidavit regarding his Native American heritage places the court on alert the child may have Native American heritage, triggering the tribal notice requirements of the Iowa ICWA; but the father failed to preserve error on his reasonable-efforts claim, and the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence. Accordingly, we conditionally affirm, but remand for the purpose of providing proper notice to any interested Indian tribe.