This past September, influencer Myka Stauffer posted a photo on Instagram showing off her modern family — including the son she adopted in 2017. “I love this big crazy family!! Wouldn’t change a thing about it.”
The 32-year-old might have spoken too soon.
Stauffer and her husband, James, posted a YouTube video titled “An update to our family” to their channel Tuesday that caused outrage online: They’ve decided to “rehome” their adopted 4-year-old son, Huxley.
James, a car detailer, explains in the video that they came to the brutal decision after discovering “there were a lot more special needs that we were not aware of.” The tearful mom added, “Do I feel like a failure as a mom? 500%.”
Twitter seemed to agree with Myka, accusing her of using Huxley solely for her YouTube channel.
“@MykaStauffer adopted an autistic child from china and after years of having him, she gave him up for adoption because he had ‘bad behavior’ after using him for $$$ on her youtube channel,” wrote one user.
Another seethed: “She adopted a child for views and then got rid of him and treated him like a brand deal.”
There are even calls to have the family’s sponsors pulled, with angry internet justice seekers calling to #cancelstauffers.
Stauffer, who boasts 162,000 followers on Instagram and more than 700,000 subscribers on YouTube, has garnered partnerships with big-name companies like Big Lots, TJ Maxx and Danimals yogurt.
She first introduced her China-born son to her followers in 2 ½ years ago. In that video, Stauffer admits that her adoption journey “hadn’t been a cakewalk,” but glowed, “He’s doing really well, and it’s so cool to see him transform.”
The tot apparently has autism and brain damage, according to Stauffer, who has four biological children: Radley, Onyx, Kova and Jaka.
“Numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit. He needed more,” Stauffer says while fighting back tears in the video filmed in the couple’s bed. She added that an adoption agency had helped place Huxley with his “forever family.”
“He’s thriving, he’s doing really well, and his new mommy has medical, professional training,” she adds.
The couple begged for “privacy” in the seven-minute video in which they detailed consulting “medical professionals and agencies” to come to their heart-wrenching decision.
“I didn’t adopt a little boy to share these things publicly … Ninety-nine, 95 percent of the struggles we have never publicly aired,” she says.
But two months ago, she alluded to the struggles. “Last month was the hardest month I have ever had as my mama,” she wrote in a March 28 post, using hashtags #adoptiontrauma and #reactiveattachmentdisorder, referencing a condition where children have trouble forming emotional bonds with their caretakers.