It’s hard to imagine a more bleak story than this: a YouTuber who documented raising her adopted autistic son admitted she gave him up, after questions were raised as to his whereabouts.
Myka Stauffer, who has 717,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, admitted in an update posted this week that she and her husband James had decided to give their son Huxley to another family, due to his special needs.
“After multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit in his medical needs, he needed more,” a tearful Myka said.
“There wasn’t a minute when we didn’t try our hardest.”
The couple is being torched online for giving up their adopted son after three years, particularly after Myka built her brand as a mummy vlogger on adopting and raising a son with autism.
Extremely depressed reading about the influencer who raised funds to adopt a son, made this her “brand,” discovered he has special needs, secretly rehomed him, blocked ppl asking about him (after her followers helped fund the adoption) & put out a video making herself the victim https://t.co/ekgeTWBpm5— Sophie Ross (@SophRossss) May 27, 2020
In July 2016, the couple announced they planned to adopt a toddler from China, with plans to adopt another one from “Uganda or Ethiopia”. When the adoption agency told them Huxley had “brain damage”, the Stauffers were initially reluctant to proceed. However, as Myka later wrote in a magazine article, they decided to go ahead with the adoption after “God softened our hearts”.
They began raising money with their fanbase for the adoption, asking followers to donate $5 and saying revenue from sponsored videos would help pay for the lengthy process.
Myka, who blogs about her family, began to build her brand on raising an adopted son with autism. After Huxley’s adoption in October 2017, her YouTube subscribers reportedly doubled overnight. She gave interviews about her experience, she worked with several brands as an influencer, and the birth of her fifth child was even featured in People Magazine.
The October 2017 video of the family going to meet Huxley, titled ‘Huxley’s EMOTIONAL Adoption VIDEO!! GOTCHA DAY China Adoption’, has been viewed more than 5.5 million times. Other videos were called things like ‘5 Things I Didn’t EXPECT About Our China ADOPTION! International ADOPTION’ and ‘My CHINA ADOPTION Experience: The Truth’.
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Happy 4th birthday to my beautiful prince ???? We love you more then life! You have the worlds most contagious smile, and an amazing curiosity for life???? You love to be snuggled extra hard and loved on like no tomorrow! ???????? We love you so much baby bear ???? and can’t wait to see what this new year has in store for you! ????Also wanted to say I hope your mama in China is doing good on this day, I can’t imagine how hard this day is for her every year. ????Hopefully one day we will all get the chance to meet the beautiful woman that brought you into this crazy world ???? #loveyou #happybirthday #4thbirthday #chinaadoption #babybear #myworld #birthdayboy #birthdayboy????
In September 2019, Myka announced that since Huxley’s autism diagnosis, he had been in applied behaviour analysis therapy.
“He is doing so well and I am so excited to see the huge steps forward he makes in his third year after being adopted from China,” she said.
That was the last video Huxley and James appeared in. By early 2020, fans began noticing that Huxley was no longer in the picture. One fan told BuzzFeed News that when she commented on Myka’s Instagram asking where he was, she was blocked immediately.
Buckling to pressure, Myka posted a video this week titled ‘an update on our family’, announcing that Huxley had been given permanently to another family for the sake of his “emotional well-being”.
“Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of, and that we weren’t told about,” James said, adding that Huxley had been in several types of therapy over the past few years.
The couple also claimed they had not yet addressed literally giving their son up in order to protect his privacy. It is believed Huxley is now living with another family, rather than being placed in the foster system.
In the video description, the Stauffers say they “love Huxley with all of our heart and always will.”
While some fans have been sympathetic to the couple, most people have been downright disgusted with their treatment.
honestly i been knew but family vloggers truly arent shit! as IF myka stauffer put her autistic adopted son up for readoption in the US after 3 years of living with her??? they moved him all the way from china!! i feel sick huxley did not deserve to be treated like a pet— fadz????????♀️ (@fadzaai) May 27, 2020
Oh yes. Non verbal huxley told you i dont want to live with you guys no more send me to these strangers so that i can be traumatized even more in my little life. #mykastauffer pic.twitter.com/qK2Hn2Btl0— Hayley ???? (@Babydolldancer) May 27, 2020
Imagine adopting a special needs child from China, naming him Huxley (a crime in itself), exploiting him for sponsorship money and monetized videos, and then "rehoming" him when things got to hard. LIKE HE IS A PET AND NOT AN ACTUAL HUMAN CHILD pic.twitter.com/ZltwKK2YSV— tats and naps (@tatsandnaps) May 27, 2020