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YouTubers Myka and James Stauffer will not face charges for rehoming their adopted son after an investigation revealed the child is “very happy and well taken care of” in his new home.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office announced its decision not to file charges in the case Monday, adding that the case against the Stauffers had been closed after the sheriff’s office completed after an investigation.
The Ohio couple faced intense backlash after announcing on YouTube last month that the son they had adopted from China in 2017, who is autistic, was no longer living with the family.
In the post titled “An update on our family,” Myka Stauffer said the family still loved 4-year-old Huxley and tried to make the adoption work, but decided he would be better living somewhere else.
“After multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that [with] his medical needs, he needed more,” she said at the time, according to NBC News.
The sheriff’s office decided to investigate the “wellbeing” of the child after receiving multiple inquiries about the family’s announcement.
In a report on the investigation obtained by BuzzFeed News, deputies said they met with Huxley and his “prospective adoptive parents” on June 9 and determined he seemed “very active and showed no signs of abuse.”
“When we walked into the office, [Huxley’s] adoptive mother was singing a song to him as he was sitting on her lap smiling,” Deputy Susanna Leonard wrote. “[Huxley] appeared to be very happy and well taken care of.”
The prospective adoptive mother was able to communicate with Huxley through sign language and a few spoken words he knows like “momma,” “go,” and “open.”
“As far as the talk of possible human trafficking against [Huxley], it was determined that the process of his adoption is being conducted legally,” the report stated.
As part of the investigation, authorities also spoke with the Stauffers and completed a welfare check on the couple’s four children. Authorities determined that there were no signs of abuse to the children that remained in the couple’s home.
In terms of their decision to rehome Huxley, the Stauffers told investigators that they “couldn’t take care of” Huxley anymore because of “severe aggression” he showed to their other children.
The couple, who claimed it had been an “intolerable situation,” said they had also tried hiring a “very expensive” full-time caretaker to ensure all of the children were safe but they worried that as Huxley grew, their struggles would only get worse.
They told deputies they had filmed Huxley’s behavior and also had documentation from therapists they had enlisted for help.
After determining there were no signs of abuse in the children and ruling out the possibility of human trafficking, investigators concluded their investigation.
"At this time the investigation will be closed out with no further follow up from our office," the report stated.
“I want to first off apologize for the uproar and take full responsibility for all of the hurt that I have caused,” she wrote. “This decision has caused so many people heart break and I’m sorry for letting down so many women that looked up to me as a mother.”
She also apologized for being “naïve” during the adoption process and not properly preparing.
“I wanted to help so bad I was willing to bring home any child that needed me,” she said. “For this I was naïve, foolish, and arrogant. I wish so bad I [had] been more prepared and done more.”
Stauffer also addressed rumors that the couple had adopted 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.
She concluded the post by saying she hopes for the best for Huxley.
“We love Huxley and know that this was the right decision for him and his future,” she said. “Praying that Huxley only has the best future in the entire world.”
The controversy has already cost Stauffer—who has almost 700,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel—multiple sponsorship deals, including arrangements with Mattel/Barbie, Danimals and Chili’s, according to The Deseret News.
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