At the end of May, YouTuber Myka Stauffer and her husband James uploaded a vlog to her channel describing their decision to “rehome” their adopted son Huxley, a toddler with special needs from China, to his “forever family.” The video has since been deleted or made private. Second-chance adoptions are not unheard of, but the language Stauffer used—describing her son like a taxing pet —disturbed many viewers, as did the fact that Stauffer had benefitted financially from the adoption. Her channel grew exponentially when she began posting monetized videos about her “adoption journey.” She even started a fundraiser, asking her hundreds of thousands of subscribers to donate money to cover adoption fees.
Soon after the May vlog went up, Stauffer’s brand partnerships began to dissolve. Still, she maintained her silence for more than a month, finally posting an apology on Wednesday.
“I can’t say I wish this never happened because I’m still so glad Huxley is here and getting all of the help he needs,” she wrote in the Notes App on her phone, which she screenshotted and shared on Instagram. “I also know that even though he is happier in his new home and doing better that he still experienced trauma and I’m sorry, no adoptee deserves any more trauma.”
“I wish the decision to disrupt never had to be made... I’m sorry for hurting the community in any way. Lastly to debunk a couple complete rumors, we did not adopt a child to gain wealth. While we did receive a small portion of money from videos featuring Huxley and his journey, every penny and much more went back into his care,” she wrote, adding that, “We are not under any type of investigation. I’m hoping to share more from my side of the story soon.”
If the Stauffer family doesn’t have PR representation, now is probably the time to invest in some. Or maybe she already does, and that’s why she’s reacting to the “rehoming” fallout like any YouTuber would respond to any controversy. Her apology is clearly horrible, but it’s her reframing of it that’s truly harrowing. She’s transformed giving up her adoptive son into run-of-the-mill YouTube drama–the kind that can be resolved with the promise of “more from my side of the story.” This isn’t petty gossip—her ethical error involves a human child’s life.
At any rate, I doubt this is the last we’ll hear of Myka Stauffer: She’s a YouTuber, and there’s always more money to be made in controversy. If she was truly concerned with Huxley’s well-being, she’d stop making excuses.
Read the full apology below: