YouTuber Myka Stauffer and husband James Stauffer are under fire after revealing their autistic son, Huxley, has a new “forever home” with a “new mommy” three years after they adopted him from China. As of June 3, they’re also under investigation by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told BuzzFeed News they are working with “several other agencies” to investigate what happened with Huxley. Though Tracy Whited, the office’s community and media relations manager, clarified the Huxley, 4, is “not missing,” she explained there are “legal requirements that must be adhered to” with adoption cases, including private adoptions. “These include home studies as well as background checks on the adopting parent(s),” she explained. Authorities will also be speaking to “all [the Stauffer] children to ensure their safety.”
Myka, 32, is a family and lifestyle content creator with over 700,000 followers on her self-named YouTube channel. She began vlogging five years ago and documents her busy life as a mom. Besides Huxley, the couple also shares four children — Kova, Jaka, Radley and Onyx. She previously claimed Huxley had gone to live with a new family that was better equipped to meet his medical needs.
“Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500 percent,” she confessed in a video on May 27. “So when I get insidious, hurtful comments, it just, like, really makes it hurt worse. It’s not about me at all, but … the last couple of months have been the hardest thing I could’ve ever imagined.”
Although the parents insisted Huxley is “happy” and “thriving” in his new home, it’s not clear how they found that new home. Val Turner, a spokesperson for Franklin County Children Services, told BuzzFeed News that Huxley was not in the organization’s custody. “The adoption for the Stauffer family is an international adoption, which does not involve our agency,” Turner said. “It appears that [Myka] made arrangements with an individual person, versus an agency.”
After the news first broke about the Stauffers finding Huxley a new “forever home,” the hashtag “#CancelMykaStauffer” started trending on Twitter. “Myka Stauffer abandoned this autistic child,” one person tweeted. “Myka Stauffer really just gave her kid away [because] adoption wasn’t a dreamy aesthetic journey like she thought it’d be … These IG moms are another level of gross,” someone else wrote.
Some people were particularly appalled over the influencer previously using Huxley in paid content on her social media. A Change.org petition started circulating demanding the parents “remove all monetized content” with their adopted son. “Myka needs to send Huxley’s new forever mama a check each month with the money she’s still making off of him from paid ads,” another user said.
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We had the best time in Chicago and made so many memories with the kids and my husband #ad The vlog from our road trip is live today on The Stauffer Life and you have to check it out, you won’t be disappointed! Thanks to @enterprise for the opportunity to take this amazing adventure! #enterprise
Myka and James have kept followers in the loop during every step of their adoption process with Huxley, including why they ultimately decided to place him in a different home.
“With international adoption, sometimes there are unknowns and things that are not transparent on files and things like that,” James, 34, expressed. “Once Huxley came home, there were a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of and that we were not told. So over the past few years, Huxley has been in numerous therapies to try and help him with all of his needs. Over the last year has been the more intense therapy to try and help him as much as possible.” The “feedback” from professionals was “really upsetting” for the young couple.
James added they “never wanted to be in this position,” but they were trying to “help” Huxley and meet his needs “as much as possible.”
Myka divulged Huxley “needed more” than they were able to provide. “There’s not an ounce of our body that doesn’t love Huxley with all of our being,” she continued through tears. “There wasn’t a minute that [we] 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 [with] his medical needs.”