In an emotional video posted to her popular YouTube channel, vlogger Myka Stauffer revealed that she placed her adopted son from China in a new home after deciding another family was more suited to deal with his medical needs. Visibly upset, she and her husband James Stauffer sat down together to share their news that their son Huxley, who is autistic and was born with a brain cyst, was already living with a new family.
"So this is by far the hardest video James and I have ever publicly had to make," Myka began.
"I can't say enough how hard Myka has tried throughout this entire journey and the amount of effort she's put into this and helping Huxley as much as she can," James added before he went on to explain that he and Myka were not fully prepared for the medical attention Huxley needed when they adopted him.
"With international adoption, sometimes there's unknowns and things that are not transparent on files and things like that," James said. "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."
"And over the last year has been a more intense therapy that he's been in to try and help him as much as possible with his severe needs and for us it's been really hard hearing from the medical professionals... a lot of their feedback and things have been upsetting. Really upsetting for us because," James said as he began to choke up. "That's not what we ever wanted to hear. We 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 went on to say that after "multiple assessments, multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit for his medical needs, he needed more."
Huxley has been absent from Myka's Instagram feed recently, a decision she and James said was made in an effort to protect his privacy and avoid "messing anything up" for his transition to a new home.
In a 2019 essay for The Bump, Myka shared that she and her husband had decided to adopt a child from China who had a small brain cyst, but when the family met the 2-year-old, the situation was more dire than they realized.
"After taking Huxley to see several specialists, we discovered he had had a stroke in utero. The neurologist felt he was going to be a perfectly normal child and would 'catch up' to his peers in no time," she wrote. "But months passed and we saw no change in his behavior, so we began to seek out resources for therapies that were recommended to us by our adoption center physicians. And every therapist that treated our son hinted at sensory processing disorder, autism, ADHD and global developmental delays."
The Stauffers' journey with their adopted son had been well documented on both Myka's personal YouTube channel, which has over 716,000 subscribers, and The Stauffer Life, a channel that once featured their other four children as well as Huxley. All of the videos on their family page have been removed and a petition on Change.org demanding that the Stauffers remove all monetized content featuring Huxley has nearly 8,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
Since making their announcement, the Stauffers have received both messages of support and criticism. Some wrote that they were "heartbroken" for the entire family while many others worried about Huxley as well as the other children, who have now lost a sibling, and have accused the Stauffers of adopting Huxley to gain followers.
"I can’t believe you @MykaStauffer," one Twitter user wrote. "Huxley wasn’t a pet, and you brought him into your children’s lives. Then you ripped that from them. You never would’ve done that had he been your biological child. Horrible."
"idk who needs to hear this (jk I do, it’s @MykaStauffer) children of color are not put on earth to fuel your white savior complex," another tweeted. "They’re not pets you should just 'rehome' when it gets too hard to raise them. F*ck you."
Another said, "myka stauffer really just gave her kid away bc adoption wasn’t a dreamy aesthetic journey like she thought it’d be... these ig moms are another level of gross. that poor sweet little boy."
As for the backlash she had gotten, Myka said in the YouTube video that she feels like "failure" as a mom after the decision to place Huxley with another family. "Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500%," she said. "So when you get insidious hurtful comments, it just makes it really hurt worse."
While the decision to find a new home for Huxley appears to have been a difficult one, Myka said the little boy is doing well in his new home. "The reason we haven't updated you sooner is because the medical professionals, the agencies, multiple people have been allowing for Huxley to spend time with some different people to see and to make the perfect match and fit for his now new forever family," she said. "He is thriving. He is really happy, doing really well. His new mommy has medical, professional training and it's a very good fit."
Editor's Note: The headline on this article has been updated.