Following heated backlash about their decision to place their adopted son with a new "forever family," the lawyers for YouTuber Myka Stauffer and her husband James issued a statement explaining that it was the "right and loving thing to do."
"We are privy to this case and given the facts at hand, we feel this was the best decision for Huxley," Thomas Taneff and Taylor Sayers, lawyers for Myka and James Stauffer, told People in a statement. "In coming to know our clients we know they are a loving family and are very caring parents that would do anything for their children." Romper has reached out to the Stauffers' lawyers.
Earlier this week, Myka and her husband shared an emotional video on her YouTube channel, which has over 713,000 subscribers, with an update about the couple's 4-year-old autistic son Huxley, whom they adopted from China in 2017.
"With international adoption, sometimes there's unknowns and things that are not transparent on files and things like that," James said in the video. "Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren't aware of and that we were not told. So after the past few years, Huxley's been in numerous therapies to try and help him with all of his needs."
In an essay for The Bump, Myka shared that Huxley was "diagnosed with a brain cyst" and they later discovered that "he had a stroke in utero." "Every therapist that treated our son hinted at sensory processing disorder, autism, ADHD and global developmental delays," she wrote for The Bump in 2019.
In Tuesday's video, Myka said that after "multiple assessments, multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit for his medical needs, he needed more." The couple shared that Huxley is now living with a "new forever family."
"He is thriving. He is really happy, doing really well," Myka said. "His new mommy has medical, professional training and it's a very good fit."
The Ohio-based couple have come under harsh criticism on social media since the announcement that Huxley was placed in a new home, with a petition started on Change.org demanding the Stauffers remove any monetized content with Huxley included. The petition has been signed by more than 44,000 people.
While the backlash has been intense, the Stauffers' lawyers said in their statement to People the decision was based on the advice of medical professionals. "Since his adoption, they consulted with multiple professionals in the healthcare and educational arenas in order to provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care," the statement read. "Over time, the team of medical professionals advised our clients it might be best for Huxley to be placed with another family."
"This is devastating news for any parent. Our clients came to the difficult determination to follow the advice of the medical professionals," the statement continued. "To be clear this did NOT include any considerations for placement in the foster system, but rather to hand-select a family who is equipped to handle Huxley’s needs. They were forced to make a difficult decision, but it is in fact, the right and loving thing to do for this child."
Myka Stauffer ended her announcement on YouTube by asking her followers to "please have grace with us" as they move forward as she is certain she and her husband will be "heartbroken for a long time." She also admitted that she "500%" felt like a failure as a mom following the decision.
While there has been considerable backlash, Stauffer was quick to thank one follower for her "understanding" on YouTube after the social media user shared her own story of international adoption, according to Us Weekly. "You have no idea how much your comments mean to James and I," she wrote. "Your grace and understanding is incredible and we can’t thank you enough."