YouTuber Myka Stauffer Said Her Child Was 'Not Returnable' Before Viral ....

Started by LifeOfPi, Jun 09, 2024, 03:05 PM

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YouTuber Myka Stauffer Said Her Child Was 'Not Returnable' Before Viral Adoption Dissolution Scandal

Prior to his actual adoption from China, the Ohio mom claimed the child's "only need" was "a nice family that really, truly cares about him"
By Zoey Lyttle
Updated on June 7, 2024 10:08AM EDT

    YouTuber Myka Stauffer re-homed her adopted son in 2020, claiming she and her husband were unable to care for his special needs
    In the docuseries An Update on Our Family, Vox Media Studios included clips from Myka's old vlogs leading up to her family's trip to China to pick up the 2½-year-old, whom they called Huxley
    Myka showed the boy's photos in her pre-adoption videos and explicitly stated that he was "not returnable"

Myka Stauffer spoke confidently about her adoption process well before its unexpected ending.  Vox Media Studios revisited the viral scandal in the new docuseries An Update on Our Family, which explores the family vlogging industry and how Myka and James Stauffer fell from grace in 2020 after they re-homed their adopted son, whom the couple called Huxley. (Huxley has since been renamed by his new family.)  The Stauffers adopted Huxley, who was later diagnosed with autism, from China when he was 2½ and sought adoption dissolution two years later, claiming they were unaware of the extent of his disabilities. Their decision was met with widespread, extreme backlash that eventually drove the Ohio-based family offline.  The Stauffers, as well as Huxley's new family, have not responded to PEOPLE's requests for comment.  The three-part series which was inspired by New York Magazine's 2020 feature on the family includes clips from Myka's since-deleted YouTube videos leading up to their trip to pick up Huxley in Asia. In several snippets, the former nurse claimed she was equipped and willing to learn how to parent a child with special needs.  "We started talking to physicians, we started having meetings, we started doing tons of different things so that we could be really well educated on different conditions," Myka told the camera in one of several videos discussing the adoption process.

"Let's just say there's 100 conditions," she continued. "Me and my husband were comfortable with 99 of the conditions. So we were very, very open."

The YouTuber also recorded herself sharing how Huxley's photo stood out to her amongst hundreds of other potential adoptee profiles.  "I have probably seen over 400 kids' profiles. Not their files, not the reviews, not the referral. Just their little profiles on this site," she said in a video. "His picture spoke to me so much. Like, it gives me chills just thinking about his little picture."

In addition to showing Huxley's photo online before the adoption was finalized, Myka also told her subscribers about the child's disability, divulging what information she had.  "I don't know what his medical diagnosis is gonna look like. How much schooling will he need? Will he need a little bit more hands on? Will he be delayed?" she said in 2017, adding, "But if anything, my child is not returnable."

The mom of three maintained that she and James were ready to cater to his disabilities: "The only need that our little boy has is a nice family that really, truly cares about him," she told the camera in one vlog post.

After the Stauffers revealed their decision to seek out adoption dissolution, their lawyers spoke to PEOPLE at the time about their ultimate hope to "provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care."

"We are privy to this case and given the facts at hand, we feel this was the best decision for Huxley," Myka and James' lawyers, Thomas Taneff and Taylor Sayers, told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement issued in May 2020. "In coming to know our clients we know they are a loving family and are very caring parents that would do anything for their children."

"Since his adoption, they consulted with multiple professionals in the healthcare and educational arenas in order to provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care," Taneff and Sayers continued. "Over time, the team of medical professionals advised our clients it might be best for Huxley to be placed with another family."

The vloggers' legal team noted that the Stauffers followed the advice of medical professionals, which, the lawyers clarified, "did NOT include any considerations for placement in the foster system, but rather to hand-select a family who is equipped to handle Huxley's needs."

Since the adoption dissolution and resulting backlash, Myka's personal YouTube channel and the family's channel titled "The Stauffer Life" have both been deleted. James' "Stauffer Garage" channel remains online, though he only shares content relating to car flipping, detailing and cleaning, per the page's bio.


Peope like her shouldn't adopt and I feel sad for the boy.  He's been taken away from his home country, lived with the family for two years then got moved on again which won't help with his needs such as stability.