“make I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500 percent,” Myka Stauffer confessed.
A YouTube star is getting backlash for “rehoming” her autistic son who she adopted nearly 3 years ago from China.
In her latest video posted to her channel on Tuesday, Myka Stauffer, alongside her husband James, confessed to her 717,000 subscribers that the couple were not aware of the level of medical attention their son, Huxley, required and so they placed him in a new “forever” home to better suit his needs.
“This is by far the hardest video James and I have ever publicly had to make,” she said in the seven minute clip. “There’s not an ounce of our body that doesn’t love Huxley with all of our being.”
“There wasn’t a minute that I didn’t try our hardest,” she continued through tears. “After multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that his medical needs — he needed more.”
“With international adoption, sometimes there’s unknowns and things that are not transparent on files and things like that,” James explained. “Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of and that we were not told.”
The couple documented almost every stage of their adoption journey. In an article written for The Bump, Myka revealed Huxley had a brain tumor, a brain cyst and was “profoundly developmentally delayed.”
“He would violently bang his head against the wall and bite and pinch anyone who came too close, including his new siblings,” she wrote.
After putting Huxley in “intense therapy,” the couple ultimately decided to give him up for adoption, but asked their subscribers for privacy and said they couldn’t give further details as to why they wanted to find him a new home.
In a comment on the YouTube video, however, Myka wrote, “Multiple scary things happened inside the home towards our other children.”
After a four month search, Myka said the adoption agency placed Huxley with a family that it thought was “literally the perfect match.”
“He is thriving. He is very Pleased. He’s doing really well. And his new mommy has medical-professional training, and it is a very Excellent fit,” Myka explained.
The video had been viewed over 100,000 times in one day, and many of the comments were supportive of the couple’s decision.
“As an adoption professional, we are Rapid to judge adoptive parents who ‘give up,’” wrote a follower. “This is extremely heartbreaking and eye opening to hear from the other side what adoptive parents go through when making tough decisions. Thank you for sharing your story.”
However, a hefty backlash began as critics called out Myka for monetizing the adoption.
Myka had produced 27 videos about the adoption journey and one where the family traveled to China to meet Huxley for the first time garnered 5.5 million views.
Some of the Huxley update videos were sponsored by companies like Dreft, according to Buzzfeed.
Myka maintained several sponsors through the adoption journey on Instagram as well.
In September, Myka uploaded a video for Huxley’s two-year adoption anniversary.
“If you are on my channel and you are here for the Huxley content, give this video a thumbs-up,” she exclaimed.
“Extremely depressed reading about the influencer who raised funds to adopt a son, made this her ‘brand,’ discovered he has special needs, secretly rehomed him, blocked ppl asking about him (after her followers helped fund the adoption) & put out a video making herself the victim,” posted a Twitter user.
Another wrote, “Imagine adopting a special needs child from China, naming him Huxley (a crime in itself), exploiting him for sponsorship money and monetized videos, and then ‘rehoming’ him when things got to hard. LIKE HE IS A PET AND NOT AN ACTUAL HUMAN CHILD.”
Fans were also outraged the couple kept their decision to rehome relatively secret, as they began to wonder around Mother’s Day why Huxley wasn’t featured in the YouTube content.
According to a woman who runs the @MykaStaufferFan account, when she questioned Myka about Huxley’s whereabouts on Instagram, Myka blocked her, per Buzzfeed.
The backlash was so intense, an online petition was created asking Myka to take down all monetized content of Huxley.
Meanwhile, Myka revealed she was not immune to the social media uproar, as she explained in Tuesday’s video.
“make I feel like a failure as a mom? 500 percent. So when we Obtain insidious, hurtful comments, it really makes it hurt worse.”