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In the Interest of E.S., Minor Child
Attorney for Appellant Father
Adam M. Stone
Attorney for Appellee State
Meredith L. Lamberti, Assistant Attorney General
Guardian ad Litem
Court of Appeals
Court of Appeals Opinion
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clarke County, Monty Franklin, District Associate Judge. REVERSED AND REMANDED. Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ. Opinion by Tabor, P.J. (5 pages)
A father appeals the termination of his parental rights. The juvenile court found he failed to maintain significant and meaningful contact with his seven-year-old son. OPINION HOLDS: Our de novo review reveals inadequate proof that the father failed to maintain significant and meaningful contact with the child. The father attended almost all the offered visitations, only missing for serious medical events. During visits he did more than just show up: he engaged with his son, provided meals, clothing, and gifts, and had positive conversations. He also completed substance-abuse treatment, showing a genuine effort to complete the responsibilities prescribed in the case permanency plan. The State failed to prove the ground for termination, so we reverse the order and remand for further proceedings.