A new investigative report has uncovered the story of a popular YouTuber who apparently gave away her adopted son to a new family due to unspecified “behavioral issues.”
Published by BuzzFeed News, the article detailed social media star Myka Stauffer‘s experience filming her adopted Chinese son Huxley extensively on her family channel. Now, fans and readers are questioning Stauffer’s ethics after it was revealed she unceremoniously placed Huxley with a new family, despite making monetized videos for several years with him as an infant and toddler.
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In all, she produced at least 27 vids detailing the adoption journey and her path to bringing him over to the United States, from 2017 onward. Stauffer, who has been vlogging with her husband James since 2014, did not return a request for comment from the news site.
All the clips were monetized on Stauffer’s two YouTube channels, which combined have acquired over 1 million subscribers in the six years she’s been working to build her audience on the social network. In some of the ones with Huxley, Stauffer would plug fundraisers she’d organized for the child’s unspecified health needs.
In one case, she told viewers that every $5 donated to her would unlock a different piece of a 1,000-piece puzzle showing a previously-unreleased picture of the young boy. In another sponsored video, Myka explicitly said she’d be using the proceeds from her YouTube ads towards the cost of the adoption itself. Stauffer’s most popular video to date, from October 2017, was the compilation clip showing Huxley’s actual adoption; that video has received more than 5.5 million views to date.
From there, Stauffer’s star took off in the vlogging community, as she released more and more content surrounding his journey, including travel to the United States and living adjustments once here. Though things were difficult from time to time — Myka opened up about the struggles of parenting an autistic adopted child in a 2019 interview, for example — the young mom received more viewers and opportunities as her profile continued to grow.
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Huxley consistently appeared in videos and on Instagram until early 2020 when fans began to notice in February that it’d been a while since they saw him on her social channels. It’s here where the most damning indictment of Stauffer’s activities begins; as the outlet reports, after the “hardest” Mother’s Day of her life, Myka fan accounts began to question the YouTuber publicly about the absence of her adopted son.
From the investigative piece (below):
“Some people even started Instagram accounts, like ‘Justice for Huxley,’ and ‘MykaStaufferFan,’ to pressure Myka to answer their questions. The woman from New York who runs the @MykaStaufferFan account told BuzzFeed News she had been following the family for years when she noticed Huxley’s absence. She said when she asked Myka on Instagram, she ‘blocked me immediately.’ ‘I knew if I was going to try to find out what happened to him, I’d need more support to spread the word and get justice for Huxley,’ she said. Her account, where she posted photos and videos of Huxley calling for the Stauffers to address his whereabouts, soon amassed over 600 followers.”
Wow… Definitely not the kind of action you take if there’s nothing to hide… just saying!!!
Then, on Tuesday night, things came to a head when Myka and her husband appeared on camera together for a full update on her family. In the video, she further revealed they’d made the difficult decision to place Huxley with another available family due to the aforementioned “behavioral issues.”
You can watch the full video explaining the family’s situation (below):
Now, fans and followers are extremely divided about the fallout from their former son’s departure; many feel Stauffer’s pain and have shown grace and support in the comments, both on that YouTube video and over at her Instagram account.
Others are more troubled by the fact that Huxley was used as part of a plan to monetize YouTube content for years on end, only to be dismissed when the going got tough. As you can see from the video here, Stauffer’s claim is that Huxley’s challenges were far greater than what was shown on camera — and that may be true, though impossible to verify.
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Many are now suggesting Stauffer demonetize any videos involving Huxley, as he’s no longer a member of their family. The former fan behind the aforementioned @MykaStaufferFan account put it best, telling the outlet (below):
“I think it would be best for her to step away from YouTube for the time being to reflect on the consequences of her actions and the hurt she has caused the adoption community and parents of special needs children. I feel uneasy about children being on YouTube since there’s always the possibility of exploitation whether or not it’s intentional, and you never know who’s watching on the other side of the screen. It’s unfair to them because they can’t consent to their personal lives being shown to the world.”
Amen to THAT.
To read the entire, extensive report, please click HERE.
What do U make of this whole controversy, Perezcious readers? Should Myka step back from vlogging for a while?! Has this whole thing gone too far??
Sound OFF with your take about all of it down in the comments (below)…
[Image via Myka Stauffer/YouTube]