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In the Interest of L.T., A.T., and D.T., Minor Children
Attorney for Appellant Mother
Ellen R. Ramsey-Kacena
Attorney for Appellee State
Anagha Dixit, Assistant Attorney General
Guardian ad litem
Kimberly A. Opatz
Court of Appeals
Court of Appeals Opinion
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Cynthia S. Finley, District Associate Judge. AFFIRMED. Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and May, JJ. Opinion by Potterfield, P.J. (11 pages)
The mother’s rights to these children were at issue at a termination-of-parental-rights hearing in November 2016. After an extended delay, the juvenile court entered a written order in July 2018, terminating the mother’s parental rights. The mother appealed, and in In re L.T., 924 521, 530 (Iowa 2019), our supreme court reversed the termination and remanded to the juvenile court. The termination hearing on remand took place in April 2019, and the juvenile court again found the grounds to terminate the mother’s parental rights. The mother appeals, arguing the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) failed to make reasonable efforts until the July 2018 termination order was entered and termination of her rights is not in the children’s best interests. She also asks for additional time to work toward reunification with the children. OPINION HOLDS: Although DHS discontinued services aimed at reunification before the written order was entered, the department did not fail to fulfill its reasonable-efforts obligation. Additionally, we cannot further delay permanency for these children, as termination of the mother’s parental rights is in their best interests. We affirm.