Parental Substance Use as Child Abuse - Iowa

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Citation: Ann. Code § 232.2(6)(m)-(p)

'Child in need of assistance' means the following with regard to an unmarried child:

  • Who is in need of treatment to cure or alleviate chemical dependency and whose parent, guardian, or custodian is unwilling or unable to provide such treatment
  • Whose parent's or guardian's mental capacity or condition, imprisonment, or drug or alcohol abuse results in the child not receiving adequate care
  • In whose body there is an illegal drug present as a direct and foreseeable consequence of the acts or omissions of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian, the presence of which shall be determined in accordance with a medically relevant test as defined in § 232.73
  • Whose parent, guardian, custodian, or other adult member of the household in which a child resides does any of the following: 
    • Unlawfully uses, possesses, manufactures, cultivates, or distributes a dangerous substance in the presence of a child
    • Knowingly allows such use, possession, manufacture, cultivation, or distribution by another person in the presence of a child
    • Possesses a product with the intent to use the product as a precursor or an intermediary to a dangerous substance in the presence of a child
    • Unlawfully uses, possesses, manufactures, cultivates, or distributes a dangerous substance specified § 232.2(6)(2) in a child’s home, on the premises, or in a motor vehicle located on the premises 

For the purposes of this paragraph, 'in the presence of a child' means in the physical presence of a child or occurring under other circumstances in which a reasonably prudent person would know that the use, possession, manufacture, cultivation, or distribution may be seen, smelled, ingested, or heard by a child.

Citation: Ann. Code § 232.2(6)(p)(2)

The term 'dangerous substance' means any of the following:

  • Amphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers
  • Methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers
  • A chemical or combination of chemicals that poses a reasonable risk of causing an explosion, fire, or other danger to the life or health of persons who are in the vicinity while the chemical or combination of chemicals is used or is intended to be used in any of the following:
    • The process of manufacturing an illegal or controlled substance
    • As a precursor in the manufacturing of an illegal or controlled substance
    • As an intermediary in the manufacturing of an illegal or controlled substance
  • Cocaine, its salts, isomers, salts of its isomers, or derivatives
  • Heroin, its salts, isomers, salts of its isomers, or derivatives
  • Opium and opiate, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of opium or opiate

Citation: Ann. Code § 232.77(2)

If a health practitioner discovers in a child physical or behavioral symptoms of the effects of exposure to cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, methamphetamine, or other illegal drugs, or combinations or derivatives thereof, which were not prescribed by a health practitioner, or if the health practitioner has determined through examination of the natural mother of the child that the child was exposed in utero, the health practitioner may perform or cause to be performed a medically relevant test, as defined in § 232.73, on the child.

The practitioner shall report any positive results of such a test on the child to the Department of Human Services. The department shall begin an investigation pursuant to law upon receipt of such a report.

A positive test result obtained prior to the birth of a child shall not be used for the criminal prosecution of a parent for acts and omissions resulting in intrauterine exposure of the child to an illegal drug.

Citation: Ann. Code § 232.68(2)(a)(6)-(7) 

'Child abuse' or 'abuse' occurs when the following is true:

  • An illegal drug is present in a child's body as a direct and foreseeable consequence of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child.
  • The person responsible for the care of a child, in the presence of the child, does any of the following:
    • Unlawfully uses, possesses, manufactures, cultivates, or distributes a dangerous substance
    • Knowingly allows such use, possession, manufacture, cultivation, or distribution by another person in the presence of a child
    • Possesses a product with the intent to use the product as a precursor or an intermediary to a dangerous substance in the presence of a child
    • Unlawfully uses, possesses, manufactures, cultivates, or distributes a dangerous substance in a child’s home, on the premises, or in a motor vehicle located on the premises

Citation: Ann. Code § 726.6 

A person who is the parent, guardian, or person having custody or control over a child or a minor under age 18 with a mental or physical disability, or a person who is a member of the household in which a child or such a minor resides, commits child endangerment when the person knowingly permits a child or minor to be present at a location where amphetamine, methamphetamine, or the salts, isomers, or salts of isomers of either are manufactured or where a product is possessed in violation of the law.

A person who commits child endangerment resulting in the death of a child or minor is guilty of a class B felony. Notwithstanding § 902.9(1)(b), a person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be confined for no more than 50 years. 

A person who commits child endangerment resulting in serious injury to a child or minor is guilty of a class C felony. 

A person who commits child endangerment resulting in bodily injury to a child or minor or child endangerment that does not result in a serious injury is guilty of a class D felony. 

A person who commits child endangerment that is not subject to penalty (as a class C or D felony) is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor.