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Case No. 21-0461

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

In the Interest of A.P., Minor Child

S.W., Mother-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Peter Stiefel (until withdrawal)

Ray Lough

Attorney for Appellee State

Ellen Ramsey-Kacena, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Deb Skelton

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jun 16, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Iowa County, Russell G. Keast, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  She argues the State failed to prove grounds for termination, termination is not in the best interests of the child, and her rights should not have been terminated due to the closeness of the parent-child bond.  The mother also argues she should have been given an additional six months to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the district court that the State established by clear and convincing evidence that the child could not be returned to the mother at the time of termination, establishing the only contested element of termination pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2020).  The mother’s history of inactivity in this case and the child’s immediate need for permanency support the district court’s decision to refuse the mother an additional six months to work toward reunification.  We also agree with the district court that termination is in the child’s best interests and no permissive exception to termination applies.

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