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Case No. 20-1182

For summaries from opinions prior to August, 2018, view PDF versions here

In the Interest of A.D. and A.G., Minor Children

A.D. and A.G., Minor Children-Appellants

B.D., Mother-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Alexandra M. Nelissen

Attorney for Appellants Minor Children

Sarah E. Dewein

Attorney for Appellee State

Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Erin Mayfield

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Nov 30, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lynn Poschner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (11 pages)

            The juvenile court terminated the mother’s parental rights to twelve-year-old A.D. and ten-year-old A.G. pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2020).  Both the mother and the children challenge the termination on appeal.  The children and the mother argue the children could have been returned to the mother’s care at the final day of the termination hearing and the termination petition should have been dismissed.  In the alternative, the children and mother argue that a guardianship should have been established in lieu of terminating the mother’s rights because termination is not in the children’s best interests and permissive factors weigh against termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the juvenile court that the children could not be returned to the mother’s care at the final day of the termination hearing, so the statutory ground for termination was met.  We take the children’s steadfast desire to have their mother remain in their life, as well as the circumstances involving their older siblings, into consideration regarding the mother’s and the children’s request for a guardianship in lieu of termination.  But establishing a guardianship would leave the children vulnerable to the uncertainty they have already experienced for too long; termination is in their best interests.  We affirm on both appeals. 

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