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Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Iowa

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Statute: §§ 232.111; 232.116

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination


Abandonment or Extreme Parental Disinterest

Abuse/Neglect

Mental Illness or Deficiency

Alcohol or Drug Induced Incapacity

Felony Conviction/Incarceration

Failure of Reasonable Efforts

Abuse/Neglect or Loss of Rights of Another Child

Sexual Abuse

Failure to Maintain Contact

Failure to Provide Support

Child Judged in Need of Services/Dependent

Child's Best Interest

Child in care 15 of 22 months (or less)

Felony assault of child or sibling

Murder/Manslaughter of sibling child

Circumstances That Are Not Grounds for Termination

Failure to Establish Paternity

Iowa Code Ann. § 232.111 (West, WESTLAW through End of 2002 2nd Ex. Sess.)

A child's guardian, guardian ad litem, or custodian, the Department of Human Services, a juvenile court officer, or the county attorney may file a petition for termination of the parent-child relationship and parental rights with respect to a child.

Unless any of the circumstances described below exist, the county attorney shall file a petition for termination of the parent-child relationship and parental rights with respect to a child or if a petition has been filed, join in the petition, under any of the following circumstances:

The child has been placed in foster care for 15 months of the most recent 22-month period;

A court has determined aggravated circumstances exist and has waived the requirement for making reasonable efforts under § 232.102 because the court has found the circumstances described in § 232.116(1)(h) are applicable to the child;

The child is less than 12 months of age and has
been judicially determined to have been abandoned or the child is a newborn infant whose parent has voluntarily released custody of the child in accordance with chapter 233;

The parent has been convicted of the murder or the voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent;

The parent has been convicted of aiding or abetting, attempting, conspiring in, or soliciting the commission of the murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent; or

The parent has been convicted of a felony assault which resulted in serious bodily injury of the child or of another child of the parent.

<>Iowa Code Ann. § 232.116 (West, WESTLAW through End of 2002 2nd Ex. Sess.)

The court may order the termination of both the parental rights on any of the following grounds:

The parents voluntarily and intelligently consent to the termination of parental rights and for good cause desire the termination;

The court finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that the child has been abandoned or deserted;

The court finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that the child is a newborn infant whose parent has voluntarily released custody of the child in accordance with chapter 232B;

The court finds that both of the following have occurred: the court has previously adjudicated the child to be a child in need of assistance after finding the child to have been physically or sexually abused or neglected as the result of the acts or omissions of one or both parents, or the court has previously adjudicated a child who is a member of the same family to be a child in need of assistance after such a finding; or subsequent to the child in need of assistance adjudication, the parents were offered or received services to correct the circumstances which led to the adjudication, and the circumstance continues to exist despite the offer or receipt of services;

The court finds that all of the following have occurred: the child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance; the child has been removed from the physical custody of the child's parents for a period of at least 6 consecutive months; and there is clear and convincing evidence that the parents have not maintained significant and meaningful contact with the child during the previous 6 consecutive months and have made no reasonable efforts to resume care of the child despite being given the opportunity to do so. 'Significant and meaningful contact' includes, but is not limited to, the affirmative assumption by the parents of the duties encompassed by the role of being a parent.

The court finds that all of the following have occurred in the following situations:

The child is 4 years of age or older and has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance; the child has been removed from the physical custody of the child's parents for at least 12 of the last 18 months, or for the last 12 months and any trial period at home has been less than 30 days; and there is clear and convincing evidence that at the present time the child cannot be returned to the custody of the child's parents.

The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance; the court has terminated parental rights with respect to another child who is a member of the same family; there is clear and convincing evidence that an additional period of rehabilitation would not correct the situation and that the parent continues to lack the ability or willingness to respond to services which would correct the situation.

The child is 3 years of age or younger and has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance; the child has been removed from the physical custody of the child's parents for at least 6 months of the last 12 months, or for the last 6 consecutive months and any trial period at home has been less than 30 days; and there is clear and convincing evidence that the child cannot be returned to the custody of the child's parents at the present time.

The child meets the definition of child in need of assistance based on a finding of physical or sexual abuse or neglect as a result of the acts or omissions of one or both parents; there is clear and convincing evidence that the abuse or neglect posed a significant risk to the life of the child or constituted imminent danger to the child; and there is clear and convincing evidence that the offer or receipt of services would not correct the conditions which led to the abuse or neglect of the child within a reasonable period of time.

The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance and custody has been transferred from the child's parents for placement; and the parent has been imprisoned for a crime against the child, the child's sibling, or another child in the household; or the parent has been imprisoned and it is unlikely that the parent will be released from prison for a period of 5 years or more.

The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance and custody has been transferred from the child's parents for placement; the parent has a chronic mental illness and has been repeatedly institutionalized for mental illness, or the parent has a severe, chronic substance abuse problem, and presents a danger to self or others as evidenced by prior acts; there is clear and convincing evidence that the parent's prognosis indicates that the child will not be able to be returned to the custody of the parent within a reasonable period of time considering the child's age and need for a permanent home.

The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance, finding that the child has been physically or sexually abused or neglected as a result of an act or omission of a parent.

The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance; the parent has been convicted of child endangerment resulting in death or in a serious injury of the child's sibling, has been convicted of 3 or more acts of child endangerment involving the child, the child's sibling, or another child in the household; there is clear and convincing evidence that the circumstances surrounding the parent's conviction for child endangerment would result in a finding of imminent danger to the child.
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