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Case No. 21-0601

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In the Interest of H.J. and L.J., Minor Children

J.J., Father-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Father

Nancy L. Pietz

Attorney for Appellee State

Ellen Ramsey-Kacena, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Kimberly Graham

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 22, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Romonda Belcher, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Greer, J., and Doyle, S.J.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to two children.  He contends the court erred in denying his sister’s motion to intervene.  He also argues the State did not present sufficient evidence of the statutory grounds for termination, termination was not in the children’s best interests, and the department of human services (DHS) made inadequate effort to place the children with his relatives.  He also argues the court should have placed the children in his sister’s custody so that he could argue termination was avoidable under the permissible factors.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the father lacks standing to challenge the denial of his sister’s motion to intervene.  We also find the father did not preserve error on his argument regarding the statutory grounds for termination.  We further find that it was in the children’s best interests to terminate his rights.  Next, we find the court could not have applied the permissive factor to avoid termination because the sister did not have legal custody of the children.  And we find the DHS made reasonable efforts to consider placing the children with the sisters and considered them inappropriate placement options.  So we affirm. 

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