What Was on Myka Stauffer's Deleted Footage? YouTube Clip Revealed to Be of Adopted Son with Duct-Taped Hand

Viewers questioned why the Stauffers shortened one of their videos with Huxley. Many were alarmed by what was shown in the 20 seconds cut from the original vlog

<p>Myka Stauffer/Instagram</p> Myka and James Stauffer with their children

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer with their children
  • Myka and James Stauffer's YouTube followers were alarmed to discover a deleted clip of their adopted son Huxley wearing duct tape on his thumb

  • Viewers already called out the Stauffers for making the toddler wear a thumb guard after they adopted him from China, but the parents claimed it was a medically necessary measure to break his thumb-sucking habit

  • The found footage of Huxley — who was diagnosed with autism — prompted people to speak out against the influencers, spin conspiracy theories in response and even call in complaints to the Stauffers' local sheriff's office

Myka and James Stauffer's YouTube followers believed the couple was hiding something when they omitted footage of their adopted son wearing duct tape on his thumb.

In December 2017, the Stauffers shared a video about Huxley's food anxiety after they brought him home from China two months earlier. Myka promptly deleted and re-uploaded the vlog, but the "new" version was about 20 seconds shorter than the original post.

Suspicious viewers took it upon themselves to investigate what was cut from the revised video, and many were alarmed to discover footage of Huxley's thumb wrapped in duct tape. This seemed to be a preventative measure taken to stop the little boy from sucking his thumb, and other YouTubers voiced their opinions over Huxley's apparent treatment.

Vox Media Studios' new docuseries An Update on Our Family explores how evidence of Huxley's makeshift thumb guard gave viewers a significant reason to distrust the Stauffers, especially after they suddenly stopped featuring their adopted toddler in any vlogs.

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<p>Myka Stauffer/Instagram</p> Myka and James Stauffer

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer

Related: How Myka Stauffer Used Dreft Laundry Detergent to 'Bond' with Her Adopted Son — and Then Got Paid for It

As several conspiracy theories circulated on social media, people even called in complaints to the couple's local sheriff's office.

Prior to the deleted duct tape incident, Myka and James also faced backlash for other videos showing Huxley wearing a thumb guard.

Once again, viewers questioned the Stauffers' means of breaking Huxley's thumb-sucking habit. Myka and James were quick to address concerns about the thumb guard in her vlogs.

"We were actually told by our dentist that it was highly recommended or he would need an unnecessary surgery because he's changing the palate of his mouth," Myka explained in one since-deleted video included in the three-part docuseries, which was inspired by New York Magazine's 2020 feature on the family.

The Ohio-based parents adopted Huxley, who was later diagnosed with autism, from China when he was 2½ and sought adoption dissolution two years later, claiming they were unaware of the extent of his disabilities. Their decision was met with widespread, extreme backlash that eventually drove the family offline.

<p>Vox Media Studios</p> 'An Update on Our Family' docuseries

Vox Media Studios

'An Update on Our Family' docuseries

Related: YouTuber Myka Stauffer Said Her Child Was 'Not Returnable' Before Viral Adoption Dissolution Scandal

The Stauffers, as well as Huxley's new family, have not responded to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

After they revealed their decision to re-home Huxley — who has been renamed by his new family — the Stauffers' lawyers spoke to PEOPLE about their ultimate hope to "provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care."

"We are privy to this case and given the facts at hand, we feel this was the best decision for Huxley," Myka and James' lawyers, Thomas Taneff and Taylor Sayers, told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement issued in May 2020. "In coming to know our clients we know they are a loving family and are very caring parents that would do anything for their children."

"Since his adoption, they consulted with multiple professionals in the healthcare and educational arenas in order to provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care," Taneff and Sayers continued. "Over time, the team of medical professionals advised our clients it might be best for Huxley to be placed with another family."

The vloggers' legal team noted that the Stauffers followed the advice of medical professionals, which, the lawyers clarified, "did NOT include any considerations for placement in the foster system, but rather to hand-select a family who is equipped to handle Huxley’s needs."

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