A YouTuber and social media influencer who was already called out by the internet for putting down their dog earlier this month, is now receiving backlash for also canceling an adoption because of a rule against exploiting adopted children on social media.
A resurfaced video of vlogger Nikki Phillippi and her husband Dan talking about adopting a child from Thailand went viral in light of their other recent controversies. In the video they explain why they won't be doing a foreign adopt from Thailand.
The video is from 2018, but is being scrutinized again after the couple were called out for monetizing their dog's euthanasia.
The YouTubers were trying to adopt through an organization called Holt International, a Christian organization that assists in adoptions. They informed the couple of a law in Thailand that prohibits sharing photos and videos of the child on social media for one year to keep people from exploiting adopted Thai children for social media clout.
This made the couple change their mind, as they explained:
"When that hit we literally were like 'Oh what?' So we were like going round the houses like trying to figure out how this could work like 'Hashtag baby blur face'."
Holt International warned the couple the country takes rules like this very seriously, and violations could jeopardize the organization's relationship with the country.
Nikki worried if they did something wrong while skirting the law, she could ruin things for other families.
"I almost Snapchatted while I was signing an NDA once. I'm going to totally mess up, and then I'll ruin it for other families."
It apparently never occurred to the couple to simply comply with the law.
They claimed they didn't like the idea of a government being so involved in the process and the adoption not being finalized for a year—Thailand's method of ensuring couples adhere to adoption laws.
However, they also claimed later in their process they were going to look at fostering as a social media friendly alternative. The foster care process also requires an extensive amount of government involvement.
The couple later got pregnant and stopped looking at adoption or fostering.
The whole situation was scrutinized by people online.
The Phillippis are influencers with more than a million followers on YouTube. Since the backlash from their situation with putting down their dog, they've turned comments off on their videos and made their other social media profiles private.
Others online looked into the situation and found the Phillippis discussed looking at adopting from Thailand, Korea, Columbia, domestic adoption and fostering very publicly on their channel over the course of 15 months.
Many of the issues the couple raised in their videos, criticizing these processes, would have been discovered from a quick google and initial research on adoption or fostering.
Adoption takes a long time, with some taking several months to over a year. So it seemed strange they would make such public announcements before doing any research on the process.
Online commenters chalked it up to the couple being interested only in the profit potential.
The couple have gone dark online while these controversies rage on.
A Change.org petition to demonetize their YouTube videos has over 60,000 signatures at time of writing, though it's unlikely this would lead to action.