Myka Stauffer, a YouTube vlogger with hundreds of thousands of followers, has announced that the autistic son she adopted from China has now been permanently rehomed to a new family after more than two years of intimate videos.
Stauffer's channel has over 700,000 subscribers, many of whom became aware of the vlogger during the process of adopting her son, Huxley, from China.
She produced 27 videos about her family's adoption journey, culminating in a video titled "Huxley's EMOTIONAL Adoption VIDEO!! GOTCHA DAY China Adoption," which has over 5.5 million views.
Even before meeting Huxley, however, the Stauffers knew he had developmental issues. The adoption agency told them he suffered from a "brain tumor" and "brain damage." At first, Stauffer and her husband were uninterested in adopting a special needs child, but she later wrote:
"But as we let the idea soak in, God softened our hearts. Before we knew it, we were open to almost every special needs in the book."
Even before Stauffer gave Huxley up, some criticized the fact that her children, especially Huxley, were featured so prominently in a heavily monetized channel.
After posting more and more about Huxley, including videos revealing that the Stauffers believed he "has level 3 autism, and sensory processing disorder," Myka's channel rapidly gained more followers. She wrote of her fourth child:
"He is a great kid and his condition doesn't involve that much overall care—all you need is a big heart and practice patience everyday. It's a different kind of patience."
The last post Myka made about Huxley was in September 2019 and titled "Emotional China Adoption Update Two Years Home." In it, she said that the child was in ABA (applied behavior 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."
Shortly thereafter, Huxley began disappearing from Stauffer's blog posts. On February 16, she posted to Instagram and revealed that caring for her child was becoming difficult behind the scenes.
Many of Stauffer's subscribers began to suspect something was wrong when Myka posted on Mother's Day that it was the "hardest holiday" she'd experienced.
Accounts like "Justice for Huxley," and "MykaStaufferFan," popped up calling on Stauffer to address what happened to her son.
Finally, this past Tuesday night, Myka posted a video titled "an update on our family," in which both Stauffer parents announced they'd given Huxley up to another home.
"After multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit in his medical needs, he needed more."
Saying that Huxley had many special needs they weren't aware of before adopting him, the Stauffers said they'd kept "99% of the struggles" out of videos to respect Huxley's "privacy and dignity." Meanwhile, however, "multiple scary things happened inside the home towards our other children."
"We saw that in family time with other people, he constantly choose [sic] them and signed and showed tons of emotion to show us and let us know he wanted this."
Following Myka's announcement, some online have criticized the family's choice, while others have supported it.
Stauffer wrote online:
"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."
Hopefully Huxley finds a good home with parents who are committed to him long term.