This YouTuber ‘rehomed’ her son two years after adopting him. Now, she’s facing backlash
Myka Stauffer and her husband adopted Huxley from China as a toddler, but revealed in a YouTube video earlier this week that he is now living in a new ‘forever home’
Two years after adopting a toddler from China and sharing her experience with her hundreds of thousands of followers, YouTuber Myka Stauffer shared that she and her husband have decided to “rehome” their child, according to People magazine.
Huxley, who is now 4 years old, was diagnosed with autism after he was adopted, according to People.
James Stauffer explained the decision in a YouTube video shared on Tuesday.
“Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of, and that we were not told,” he said.
“For us, it’s been really hard hearing from the medical professionals, a lot of their feedback, and things that have been upsetting,” he continued. “We’ve never wanted to be in this position. And we’ve been trying to get his needs met and help him out as much as possible ... we truly love him.”
Myka added, “There’s not an ounce of our body that doesn’t love Huxley with all of our being. There wasn’t a minute that I didn’t try our hardest and I think what Jim is trying to say is that after multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that his medical needs, he needed more.”
The decision has been questioned by many on social media, who said Stauffer shared videos of Huxley on her monetized channel and benefited from sharing his adoption story with her followers, according to BuzzFeed News.
Stauffer, who lives in Ohio with her husband and four other children, has been active on YouTube since 2014. Her channel currently has over 700,000 subscribers, and the video of Huxley’s adoption day has over 5.5 million views, according to BuzzFeed.
Stauffer and her husband adopted Huxley from China in 2017. Stauffer shared regular video updates on the adoption process, according to People. In September 2019, Stauffer shared a video on YouTube for his two-year adoption anniversary.
“I can’t say enough how hard Myka has tried throughout this entire journey, the amount of effort she has put in helping Huxley as much as she can,” James Stauffer said in the YouTube video, according to Newsweek. “With international adoptions, there’s unknowns and things that are not transparent on files, and once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of, and that we were not told.”
Stauffer wrote about Huxley’s adoption journey in September 2019 for Parade magazine. She wrote that Chinese adoption laws only allow U.S. couples to adopt special needs children. She and her husband were initially against the idea of adopting a special needs child, but “God softened our hearts,” she said.
When Stauffers adopted him, they were told Huxley had a brain tumor. But he was later diagnosed with “having a stroke in utero ... level 3 autism, and sensory processing disorder,” Stauffer wrote for Parade.
She also wrote that Huxley was receiving Applied Behavior Analysis therapy and attending a private preschool. At the time, she called him a “great kid” whose “condition doesn’t involve that much overall care.”
People on social media were quick to question the decision to “rehome” Huxley, saying that Stauffer had received monetary benefits and sponsorships from sharing Huxley’s story, according to BuzzFeed.
A Change.org petition has been started to ask YouTube to remove Stauffer’s monetized videos about Huxley.
My heart aches for poor Huxley. They dragged this poor little boy all the way from China, making him start all over again, then giving up on him🥺80% of her followers she gained from the adoption story, got sponsorships and her subs even funded the trip to China #mykastauffer— v loves candice (@sunlightcandice) May 27, 2020
But not all responses to the news were negative, including a comment on the YouTube video that announced Huxley had been rehomed.
The comment read, “I respect you so much for having the courage to make such a heartbreaking and hard decision. You are such great parents, you have to do what’s right for him first and foremost.”