'Just heartbreaking': YouTube parents under fire after giving up adopted son

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

A pair of YouTube influencer parents have stirred up major controversy after announcing their decision to ‘rehome’ their son after adopting him from China in 2017.

In a video described by several fans as ‘deeply upsetting’ parents Myka and James Stauffer tearfully shared the news that four-year-old Huxley, who was diagnosed with autism after arriving in the United States, had been ‘rehomed’ after the pair struggled to cope with his special needs.

Myka and James Stauffer shocked their fans when they announced that they had given up adopted son Huxley. photo: YouTube/Myka Stauffer

"Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500 per cent," Myka said in the video, sharing the news that Huxley had found a new ‘forever home’.

Husband James revealed the pair were unaware of the extent of Huxley’s special needs when they adopted him as a baby, and that the past 12 months had seen issues escalate to the point where the pair say they could no longer meet his needs.

"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 the video.

"For us, it's been really hard hearing from the medical professionals, a lot of their feedback, and things that have been upsetting. 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 introduced Huxley in a YouTube video in December 2017. Photo: YouTube/ Myka Stauffer

"There's not an ounce of our body that doesn't love Huxley with all of our being," Myka added, in tears.

"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."

Myka and James were parents to five before their decision in February. Photo: instagram/ mykastauffer

The pair would not share the precise details of the decision, saying they wanted to protect Huxley’s privacy, but did reveal he is ‘thriving’ in his new home with a mother who they say has the medical training that will help him flourish.

The pair have four biological children, and have been sharing their family’s progress with their 715,000 YouTube subscribers for years.

Following the video, Myka updated her social media bio’s from ‘mum of five’, to ‘mum of four’.

Huxley last appeared on her Instagram feed in March, with a caption suggesting he was ‘rehomed’ in February.

“Last month was the hardest month I have ever had as a mama,” she captioned the photo of herself and Huxley on March 29.

Fans baffled at ‘heartbreaking’ announcement

Myka would regularly share updates on Huxley's progress top social media. Photo: Instagram/ mykastauffer

The jaw-dropping confirmation, made after the pair spent years sharing the family’s journey on social media left some viewers baffled, and even angry at the decision.

Many tried to reserve judgment, given the sparse details of the conditions surrounding the decision, though most couldn’t help but feel shattered for Huxley.

“My heart breaks for that poor boy,” one woman wrote.

“So incredibly heartbroken for little Huxley,” another agreed. “Although I am sure this is hard for all involved, it does not even compare to the loss this child has endured. Just heartbreaking.”

“Wow..cant believe what I just watched,” another wrote. “So sad for everyone.”

“I cannot imagine giving up a child,” one wrote. “But I cannot judge because I was never in your position. my heart goes out to you all and that little boy. I hope and pray for him.”

“Wow this is so sad. That poor little guy. Very upsetting to watch!” was another’s reaction.

The pair have since disabled comments on recent posts, after old photos with Huxley attracted furious comments from irate fans.

Fans are also calling for the pair to delete sponsored ads on the page which include images of Huxley, arguing his privacy should be extended to old social media posts.

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