Myka Stauffer: The YouTuber Who “Returned” The Son She Adopted

This article was originally published on our sister site Fresh Edits

Myka Stauffer is a mother turned influencer, who made a fortune thanks to her YouTube channel, and sizable social media following. In late May, she shocked her fans when she announced her decision to “rehome” her adopted son Huxley. Many of her subscribers were immediately outraged. Her cute little mommy videos couldn’t get her out of this one.

Myka and Huxley. / Myka and James
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Huxley is a child from China who has autism, and Myka was completely aware of this when she adopted him. She warmed her viewers’ hearts when she revealed that she wanted to use her affluence to adopt a child in need. Not just any child, she specifically wanted to adopt a “special” child. Thousands of subscribers donated money to help Myka on her adoption journey. That’s why, when Myka and her husband revealed that they gave up custody, the criticism against the mother has been strong.

The Decision to Adopt

As we mentioned, Myka wanted to adopt a troubled child, and thousands of subscribers supported her selfless decision, only to find out it wasn’t selfless at all. Myka created her YouTube platform by being a loving mother going through this adoption journey.

Myka and James with their son on their YouTube channel
Source: YouTube / Myka Stauffer

After doctors explained to her that Huxley might have more struggles as he grows up, Myka revealed on her channel that what they said didn’t matter to her (we’ll get to that later). Furthermore, she said she would never “return” her child.

Growing Channel

After adopting Huxley, Myka’s YouTube channel grew, and the proud mom featured him on her YouTube channel constantly. She was well aware that Huxley had autism and was ready to face any other challenges that came his way.

Myka with her first two daughters and son
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

As soon as she saw a picture of Huxley, she knew he was meant to be her son. She brought him home from China to get him settled in his “forever” home with his new family. She described the trauma he felt and promised he would never be abandoned.

Two Babies on the Way

However, when she was waiting for Huxley to arrive, Myka became pregnant. She already had three biological children and a new infant on the way. Many people thought it wasn’t the right time to bring an autistic orphan from China.

Myka is posing pregnant with her four kids, including Huxley
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Children with autism or any other conditions can be a challenge. Would she really be able to take care of all his needs? Myka explained that she stood by her decision, saying that Huxley was her son, and she loved him.

The Adjustment Process

Many times, children who are adopted suffer trauma, and it can come out in behavioral issues. Sometimes, the parents don’t know how to deal with it, but they learn to. It’s a process.

Myka and James holding up an ultrasound with blue balloons in the background
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

It is very rare for parents to go through an entire adoption process, welcome a child into their family, and then decide to “rehome” them. Sadly, adopted children tend to have more mental disorders such as depression or separation anxiety. Kids who are adopted internationally have a higher rate of autism, as well as other conditions.

China Adoption

During an interview with Paradise, Myka explained that originally she wanted a “simple” adoption. However, she then found out that Chinese adoption laws only let couples from the United States adopt kids who have special needs.

Myka and James
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Instead of looking into a different form of adoption, Myka was open to the idea of adopting a special needs child. She even went as far as to say that God encouraged her to adopt a child with autism. But there was one other person who needed to get on board.

Getting Daddy on Board

Her husband, James, needed a little more time to get comfortable with the idea. She eventually explained that “God softened our hearts,” and they made the decision to bring a special needs child into their family.

Myka, James, and their first three children
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Myka looked through many different photos of orphans, but something about Huxley stood out to her. On one of her YouTube videos, she spoke about how after she saw his “sad little face” in pictures, she couldn’t walk away. That’s when she knew that Huxley is her son.

“Buying” her Child

Most people know that adoptions are expensive, particularly international adoptions. While domestic adoptions cost somewhere between $20,000 and $35,000, international adoptions start at $15,000 and go all the way up to $50,000.

Myka, James, and their four children at Disney World
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Discussing the specific amount of money she and her husband spent on bringing Huxley home only further showed Myka’s fans how loving and selfless she was. People truly enjoyed watching her adoption journey and loved supporting all her mommy videos. She seemed so excited when Huxley finally came into her life.

No Question

As she was documenting her adoption journey, Stauffer said, and I quote, “my child is not returnable,” while referring to Huxley. That’s when she explained to her viewers that a neurologist told her that Huxley’s medical conditions were more severe than they initially thought, and may get worse over time.

Myka and James with their five children, including Huxley, dressed like Starbucks drinks, a customer, some money, the mermaid on their cup, and a barista for Halloween
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

The doctor advised her to reconsider before bringing home a child that she couldn’t handle. Stauffer said that it “went in one ear and out the other.” She loved her child no matter what, and she wasn’t scared of his diagnosis.

Unconditional Love

She went as far as to say her love for him was unconditional. That’s exactly how it should be when you adopt a child. In the same video, she brought up the fundraiser that she started to help her family with adoption costs.

Myka hugging Huxley while holding a flower
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

The Stauffers promised to love their adopted son forever: “We’re not going to trade him in. We’re not going to return him.” Ironically, that’s exactly what they ended up doing. Suddenly, they decided it was too much for them.

Huxley’s Condition

Myka’s husband and Huxley’s “father,” James, spoke out in a recent video alongside his wife. He explained that “there were a lot more special needs than we were aware of.” This angered many fans.

Myka and James with their five children, including Huxley
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

There is actual footage that she herself posted to the internet, where she claims that she disregarded the doctor who tried to warn her about Huxley’s condition. After two years of adjusting to his new life, the family decided it was best to give the child a different home.

Supporting Myka

Some people thought the young mom bit off more than she could chew, and really wanted to help Huxley. She wanted to do what she could to help a child in need, but ultimately, it didn’t work out. Her supporters have her back and understand that it couldn’t have been an easy decision for her.

Myka and James with their first four children, including Huxley
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Many of her subscribers think that her heart really was in the right place. We don’t know what happens behind the cameras, and it’s just an unfortunate situation all around. At the end of the day, a special needs child was too much for the family to handle, and they felt he needed to be with a family better suited for him.

The Popular Opinion

However, most people haven’t supported Myka, and she’s received an incredible amount of backlash. Many viewers believe that she made the decision to adopt him, and “rehoming” him is treating him like a pet as opposed to a living, breathing human being.

Myka, James, and their five children
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Others went as far as to express that if one of Myka’s biological kids was diagnosed with autism (or any other condition), she would never choose to rehome him. If she made a decision to adopt a special needs child, she needs to take responsibility for him.

Making Bank

The haters went even further and accused Myka of using Huxley’s adoption in order to make money. This seems ridiculous, but they stirred up a lot of controversies. First of all, Myka’s YouTube channel (and subsequently, her wealth) increased as she was documenting Huxley’s adoption process.

Myka and Huxley
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

In addition, she featured her new son in multiple videos sharing his adjustment process with her viewers. Myka also posted mommy videos on her YouTube channel, looking happy and excited at the time of Huxley’s “rehoming” process.

Sad on the Inside

Because fans didn’t sense any emotion from Myka, she’s received a lot of backlashes. People accused her of faking her sadness because if she was really upset, she wouldn’t post fun videos on her channel. It does come off a little strange, but everyone deals with grief differently.

Myka with her first four kids, including Huxley
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

In the video where Myka and James announced that they were rehoming their son, she directly addressed the matter. The mother stated that even though she is doing fun things, she is still sad on the inside. Take that how you will…

Huxley’s Choice

It gets much worse! Myka stated in her video that “Huxley wanted this decision 100%,” and I don’t have to tell you that this didn’t sit well will her subscribers either. One viewer called her out and Tweeted, “You gave up tour special needs son because he didn’t fit your aesthetic.”

Myka and Huxley
Source: YouTube / Myka Stauffer

One comment read: “Non-verbal Huxley told you ‘I don’t want to live with you guys anymore send me to these strangers so I can be traumatized even more in my little life.’”

Changing her Mind

The main reason people are upset with Myka is because it really came across like she no longer wanted him because of his mental illnesses, which is exactly what she signed up for. She also said she wanted to use her wealth and platform to help the child.

Myka posing by a large plant in her living room
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

She encouraged her subscribers to adopt a special needs kids just like her and spoke about how fulfilled she felt. The family then used their YouTube money to buy a new mansion. Let’s just say they liked to flaunt their wealth.

Showing off

Myka posted a video revealing the immense amount of money she and her husband make from their videos. Basically, the thousands of dollars she makes off of one video is more than some people make in a year. People think bragging about her money just makes her completely not self-aware.

A photograph of Myka’s white living room with a tall ceiling and wooden floors, a lot of windows, a large TV, an intricate silver chandelier, and Christmas decorations
Source: Intagram / mykastauffer

However, since she doesn’t keep her wealth a secret, fans were even more furious. She clearly has the financial means to give Huxley all the help he needs. Instead, she made money off of him, moved to a mansion, and gave up custody of their son.

Myka Thinks She Doesn’t Have to Explain

The video that the Stauffers posted announcing that they were “rehoming” Huxley was titled “An update on our family.” That’s where Myka said that she “doesn’t have to say anything” but continued to blab about how it’s her choice to speak on the matter.

Myka and James explaining their decision while sitting in their bed recording for their YouTube channel
Source: YouTube / Myka Stauffer

Fans and subscribers were furious that she had the audacity to say that. The only reason the adoption was possible was because of her subscribers’ support. The least she can do is explain herself. Instead, she’s acting like she’s doing everyone a huge favor by talking at all.

Huxley’s New Forever Home

In that same video, the mother revealed that Huxley is now going to his new forever home. I think it’s obvious why she got backlash for this. An adopted child isn’t supposed to have a new home. The Stauffer’s home was supposed to be his “forever” home.

Myka Stauffer and Huxley sitting at a table in one of her YouTube videos
Source: YouTube / Myka Stauffer

Medical experts believe that this transition may affect four-year-old Huxley’s development. He has been adjusting to the Stauffers for two years, and they promised to take care of him. This may lead to attachment and abandonment issues.

Defending Her Choices

Myka also stated in that controversial YouTube announcement that Huxley’s new mommy has medical training. This immediately sounded strange to fans who know that Myka is a registered nurse. Doesn’t this mean she has medical training as well?

Huxley in his Starbuck’s barista costume with a cappuccino being made in the espresso machine in the family kitchen
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

She went on to say that Huxley was having behavioral issues but wouldn’t discuss them. Her excuse was that she wanted to respect his privacy, but people weren’t buying it. After all, she has been sharing Huxley online since before he even came home.

She Abandoned Him

At the end of the day, the outrage is due to Myka’s selfishness. She adopted Huxley for selfish reasons, and instead of living with her choices, she abandoned him. Many people believe Myka should take down the videos featuring Huxley and stop making money off of them.

Myka holding Huxley on adoption day
Myka holding Huxley on adoption day. Source: YouTube / Myka Stauffer

Is this something the family can ever recover from? Myka later released a statement saying that if this happened to one of her biological children, she would get them the help they need. She really doesn’t know when to shut up.

She Wouldn’t Do this to her Biological Kids

She wrote, “Multiple scary things happened inside the home towards our other children, and if these events happened with one of my biological kids, after all the help and after the behaviors we witnessed sadly we would have no other choice then to seek help and get their needs met.”

Myka with her three oldest kids
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

It’s clear to the world that she would never “rehome” her biological kids, which is why it’s heartbreaking to see her do this to Huxley. He was supposed to be loved just as much.

Taping Huxley’s Thumb

Before Huxley’s parents decided to “rehome” him, Myka and James were already gaining some criticism. As a traumatized child, Huxley sucked his thumb to find comfort. Fan’s noticed that his hand was covered in duct tape in order to get him to stop sucking.

Duct Tape on Huxley’s thumb
Source: Twitter / Maya Huxley

At some point, parents need to help their children stop sucking their thumb. Viewers thought they should give Huxley more time because it clearly gave him comfort, but at the end of the day, it was their decision.

Treated Differently

Subscribers then pointed out that she allowed her other children to suck their thumb and never took extreme measures like duct taping their hands. This wasn’t the only instance where Huxley was treated differently than the other children.

Myka with her three oldest children and one of them sucking their thumb
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Before rehoming their son, James posted a vlog explaining how every night after putting Huxley to bed, they like to spend time with just the biological kids. He claimed it was because they didn’t get enough attention when Huxley was awake, but it certainly rubbed people the wrong way.

Brands Cutting Ties

It’s hard to say if the family will ever bounce back from this. After adopting Huxley, her YouTube channel reached over 700,000 subscribers. Like many other influencers, a lot of her money came from promoting products.

James and Myka eating Chilis for an ad on her Instagram page
A paid ad Myka did for Chili’s. Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Since she is a mommy YouTuber, she was sponsored by family-friendly brands that dropped her following the controversy. Barbie Brand took to Instagram: “We are not currently working with the Stauffer family and do not have plans to partner with them in the future.”

Not Working with Her Ever Again

However, that wasn’t the only sponsorship the family lost. Big Lots is a retail company that Myka worked with. They also posted a comment saying, “We had a one-time partnership with Myka in the summer of 2019.”

Myka putting Lipsmacker brand lip balm into Christmas stockings
A paid ad Myka did for Lipsmackers. Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

They went on to clarify that they do not plan on partnering with the family ever again: “We currently do not have any sponsorships with Myka and will not work with her in the future.” I think it’s safe to say that Big Lots doesn’t support her decision regarding Huxley.

Everyone is Keeping their Distance

It goes on. Fabletics is a women’s sportswear retailer that Myka has worked with in the past. They also left an Instagram comment writing, “We can confirm that Fabletics is no longer working with Myka.” Yikes. The backlash got so bad that nobody wants to be associated with Myka or her family.

A comment on Instagram saying, ‘cut ties with Myka Stauffer’
Source: Instagram / Barbie

Considering most of these companies are wholesome and family-friendly, partnering with the Stauffers could be detrimental to their brand. It’s just sad that a four-year-old got stuck in the middle of all this controversy.

Under Investigation

In addition to losing all their brand deals, things only got worse for the Stauffers. On top of dealing with all the threats and haters, Myka and James are now under investigation. This case has garnered so much attention that the police has gotten involved.

Myka, James, and their five children, including Huxley
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

According to E! News, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office said the department received “several inquiries regarding the welfare” of Huxley, and he is “not missing.” So don’t worry, Huxley is safe. They released a statement saying:

Police Statement

“Our primary concern is for the well-being of this child as well as the other children in the household. Our investigation is ongoing and will include contact with all children to ensure their safety. All adoption cases are confidential and must go through a thorough process, with specific requirements and safeguards.”

The police statement by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office
Source: Delaware County Sheriff’s Office

“In private adoptions, there are some legal requirements that must be adhered to. These include home studies as well as background checks on the adopting parent(s). In this case, we are confident that the appropriate process is occurring.”

More to the Story

The criticism towards Myka Stauffer got so bad that even the cops needed to speak out. They also confirmed that the investigation is ongoing, and they are still looking into it. However, due to the nature of the case, they couldn’t reveal any details.

Myka, James, and their five children, including Huxley, sitting on the couch
Source: Instagram / mykastauffer

Honestly, the entire situation is terrible all around. Whether you support or disagree with Myka’s decision, remember we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. There is probably a lot more to this story than we will ever know.