Popular YouTuber rehomes autistic adopted son, faces backlash over “using” the son for content


A US-based YouTuber Myka Stauffer and her husband James Stauffer, based in Ohio, have come under the scanner for “rehoming” their adopted Chinese son. The couple came under scrutiny after regular followers of Myka’s YouTube and Instagram channel noticed that the pair’s adopted son Huxley had gone missing from the channel.

In 2017, the couple adopted a son from China

Stauffer had started her YouTube channel in 2014 and gradually climbed the stairs to become a popular parenting vlogger by sharing videos about parenting tips, home organization tacts and her pregnancies. However, it was the series of videos on international adoption of a two and a half-year-old Huxley from China that actually strengthened Myka’s brand on YouTube and also opened the doors for several lucrative brand deals.

Stauffer regularly posted content with Huxley

In a series of emotional videos titled ‘adoption journey’, Myka and her husband James revealed to their followers their plans of adopting a toddler from China and navigated the struggles of international adoption. The YouTuber couple gained immense popularity as they seemed to touch a raw nerve with the audience by sharing intimate details of the adoption of Huxley. Infact, for three long years, Myka shared a heartwarming journey of parenting a child with autism disorder on her monetised YouTube channel.

Even before the adoption of Huxley, Myka had positioned herself as an advocate for international adoption and had racked up a whopping 70,00,00 followers. According to the Stauffers, they were only informed that the toddler had brain tumour before adopting him in 2017, but they later on realised that he was suffering from autism spectrum disorder level 3. The blogger also claimed that they did not realise the full extent of the toddler’s special needs.

While Myka was seen sharing a lot of heartwarming photographs and videos with her adopted son Huxley, followers of the vlog noticed that he was not making an appearance on the channel since February 2020. Earlier, one of Stauffer’s post also seemed to shed light on difficulties of dealing with Huxley’s special needs.

Here is the post:

After Huxley’s sudden disappearance from Myka’s Instagram videos and YouTube channel, social media users began to fervently question about the whereabouts of the toddler. According to the followers, their comments were deleted and they were blocked from Stauffer’s account.

Goodbye Huxley

Ultimately, after weeks of speculation, the Stauffers posted a tearful video in which they shared that they have “rehomed” Huxley with a permanent family which was better suited to his emotional needs. The video is titled “an update on our family” and the couple admitted that even though they had placed the toddler in intense therapy last year, he seemingly needed more.

“After multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit in his medical needs, he needed more,” she shared. Myka also added that she felt like she has “failed as a mom.”

The couple said that they had placed Huxley, in a home which would be a perfect match for his needs and had done it after thorough evaluations. Speaking about Huxley, Myka said that “He is thriving, he is very happy, he is doing really well, and his new mommy has medical professional training and it is a very good fit. ”

The video has since garnered more than 500,000 views, drawing sympathy and criticism in equal amounts.

The backlash

A lot of fans and followers of the parenting blogger criticised the family’s decision to rehoming the toddler, especially given his psychological needs. People also pointed out that Myka had generated a lot of content with Huxley for her monetized YouTube channel and argued that she should delete those videos. Some went as far to comment that the couple “used” the toddler “to generate money” and then sent him back. On the other hand, Myka’s Twitter bio has been tweaked to reflect that she is now a “mother of four” (not five) and the couple has asked for “grace” and “privacy” while tearfully concluding the video.


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