Why Did Myka and James Stauffer Rehome Their Adopted Son? Revisiting the YouTubers' 2020 Controversy

YouTube vlogging family Myka and James Stauffer received criticism in 2020 when they dissolved the adoption of their son, Huxley, who has autism

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

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer with their four children and Huxley

Myka Stauffer and her husband, James Stauffer, were a successful vlogging family on YouTube until they announced they had rehomed their adopted son, Huxley, in 2020.

The vlogging couple confirmed they chose to dissolve their adoption in May 2020 in a since-deleted video on YouTube, explaining that Huxley's special needs were more than they were equipped to handle.

After subscribers to the family’s channel, “The Stauffer Life,” began to grow outraged at Huxley’s rehoming, Myka issued an apology statement on Instagram and ceased posting on YouTube entirely. Four years later, the channel still remains quiet, and she has stayed off of social media entirely.

Now, a Vox Media Studios docuseries, An Update on Our Family, revisits the incident and where Huxley — who has since been renamed by his new family — is today.

From what happened with their adoption to where the Stauffer family is now, here’s everything to know about Myka and James Stauffer’s family since they rehomed their son.

What were Myka and James Stauffer accused of?

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

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer with one of their children

In May 2020, Myka and James revealed in an emotional YouTube video that they had dissolved their adoption of then-4 ½-year-old Huxley, whom they had brought home from China in October 2017 when he was 2 years old.

Myka and James had documented much of the adoption process for their followers, and shared that they were aware of Huxley's autism diagnosis prior to the adoption. In since-deleted YouTube vlogs shown in the Vox docuseries, the couple spoke about how they were willing to learn how to parent a child with special needs.

“I don’t know what his medical diagnosis is gonna look like. How much schooling will he need? Will he need a little bit more hands on? Will he be delayed?" Myka said in a 2017 video, adding, "But if anything, my child is not returnable.”

However, by May 2020, their subscribers began to suspect that Huxley was no longer with the family, leading Myka and James to admit that was the case.

"Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren't aware of, and that we were not told," James said in a since-deleted video.

How did viewers uncover that Huxley was no longer with the family?

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

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer with three of their children

Internet sleuths were quick to notice clues that Huxley was gone, including spotting that the toddler’s carseat was missing from the family’s car in James’ auto maintenance YouTube channel, “Stauffer Garage.”

After the missing car seat, fans of the vloggers began noticing that their questions about Huxley were being deleted in the comments sections of their videos. Then, Myka and James changed their videos with the toddler from public to private so their content featuring Huxley was no longer viewable by the public.

It was only a month later that Myka and James confirmed their adoption of Huxley was dissolved.

What did Myka and James Stauffer say about rehoming Huxley?

<p>Myka Stauffer/Instagram</p> Myka and James Stauffer in December 2019

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer in December 2019

In their video explaining why they decided to rehome Huxley, Myka and James explained that the then-toddler’s needs were greater than they expected when they first adopted him and that they were ill-equipped to care for him.

"For us, it's been really hard hearing from the medical professionals, a lot of their feedback, and things that have been upsetting," James said in the May 2020 video. "We've never wanted to be in this position. And we've been trying to get his needs met and help him out as much as possible ... we truly love him."

Myka added that she felt like a “failure as a mom” over the last “couple months” as they worked on finding Huxley a new family.

"There's not an ounce of our body that doesn't love Huxley with all of our being," Myka said. "There wasn't a minute that I didn't try our hardest and I think what Jim is trying to say is that after multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that his medical needs, he needed more."

After receiving backlash online, Myka wrote in a statement in June 2020 that she was “naive” in the adoption process and “not selective or fully equipped or prepared.”

"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. "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."

Myka and James’ lawyers, Thomas Taneff and Taylor Sayers, added in a statement to PEOPLE that the parents never considered putting Huxley in the foster-care system, but instead chose his new family directly in a decision that was following "the advice of the medical professionals.”

"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 said. "Over time, the team of medical professionals advised our clients it might be best for Huxley to be placed with another family."

Are Myka and James Stauffer still together?

<p>Myka Stauffer/Instagram</p> Myka and James Stauffer celebrating their 6-year anniversary in September 2019

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer celebrating their 6-year anniversary in September 2019

It’s unclear if the couple are still together since their 2020 controversy as neither have posted on personal social media pages since June 2020. Their family account is also no longer public on YouTube, however, James’ car flipping and detailing channel is still active.

The channel has over 1 million subscribers, and James regularly posts videos of himself cleaning out and detailing used cars.

Where is Huxley now?

<p>Vox Media Studios</p> A still from the 'An Update on our Family' docuseries

Vox Media Studios

A still from the 'An Update on our Family' docuseries

Huxley, who has since been renamed, has moved to a new home and has continued living his life in private.

"He is thriving, he is happy, he is doing really well, and his new mommy has medical professional training, and it is a very good fit,” Myka said of his new home in the May 2020 video announcing the dissolution of the adoption.

Huxley’s family did not reply to PEOPLE’s request for comment when Vox’s documentary aired, and were not featured in the series.

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