Why Is Everyone So Outraged at YouTube Mom Myka Stauffer?

Culture
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myka stauffer

Myka Stauffer / Instagram

On Tuesday, YouTuber Myka Stauffer and her husband, James, announced their decision to give up Huxley, the four year old autistic boy they adopted from China almost three years ago.

In a seven-minute-long video titled “an update on our family,” the couple recounted how Huxley had “a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of, and that we were not told” during the adoption process.

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“After multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit in his medical needs. He needed more,” Myka said in the video. “There’s not an ounce of our body that doesn’t want Huxley with all of our being. There wasn’t a minute that I didn’t try our hardest… Do I feel like a failure as a mom? 500 percent. So when we get insidious, hurtful comments, it really makes it hurt worse.”

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The Stauffers have been vlogging about Huxley since before they even officially adopted him. In 2016, they posted a video titled “BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!” revealing their plans to adopt a baby from China. One year later, they posted a compilation clip celebrating Huxley’s finalized adoption, which Myka dedicated to “all of the orphans around the world.”

Those videos are part of a collection of 27 vlogs on their channel all about their “adoption journey” that had collectively racked up nearly 139,000 views. In the series, there are 13 “update” videos specifically about Huxley.

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Myka has promoted herself as an advocate for international and special needs adoption, landing several sponsorships and interviews with major magazines. In a 2019 Parade article, she said that at first she couldn’t wrap her “head around special needs adoption. We would just say, ‘No we can’t handle all of that, we just want a simple adoption.’ 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.”

Myka told the magazine that Huxley’s “special need was [originally] listed as brain damage,” but that “when we came home, we experienced a big surprise with inaccurate file information. Our son ended up having a stroke in utero, has level 3 autism, and sensory processing disorder. It took a lot of time to process and to readjust to his new diagnosis. We spent 10 months preparing for brain tumors and never once did I read about autism or stroke damage—it was a curve ball.”

“It’s not easy,” Myka told Parade. “You will second guess yourself, but you will get through it and never imagine your life without that child. My husband and I are better parents to all of our children because of it.”

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Since the Stauffers announced that Huxley was being moved to a new “forever home,” more than 8,000 people have since signed a petition on Change.org to “demand [they] remove all monetized content [featuring] Huxley from their YouTube channel.” The petition also calls to “cancel the Stauffers”:

The recent re-homing of Huxley Stauffer has been heartbreaking. These people need to stop exploiting and profiting off of Huxley immediately! Their YouTube channel skyrocketed thanks to Huxley! He’s done enough for the Stauffers. He bought them a McMansion, multiple vacations a year, etc. What did he get in exchange? He got re-homed as if her were a freaking puppy! Before anyone comes at me riddle me this…if any of The Stauffers’ bio kids develop any mental disorders later on in life are they just going to re-home them too? Hell no! Huxley was expendable to these vile human beings. He no longer fits into their aesthetic so bye bye he goes. The internet has your back Huxley. We hope you’re happy and thriving wherever you are.

Myka’s Twitter bio has been updated to reflect that she now has four children, instead of five: “Subcribe [sic] and follow my life with 4 kids through motherhood.” She hasn’t posted anything about the news on Instagram yet, but she did delete at least one #sponcon image from earlier this month. As of publication, her posts promoting Danimals kids’ yogurt and Fabletics were both still up.

A private Instagram page for Huxley, which links to the family’s YouTube page in its description, has more than 1,000 followers and has not yet been deleted. A publicist for Myka did not respond ELLE.com’s request for comment.

In the now-viral video, Myka said the family wouldn’t be sharing any further information about Huxley. “He is thriving, he is happy, he is doing really well,” she assured followers. “His new mommy has medical professional training, and it is a very good fit.”

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