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After YouTube Influencer Announced She 'Rehomed' Autistic Son, Authorities Are Investigating
Myka Stauffer announced in a YouTube video that she and her husband gave up the 5-year-old child they adopted from China.
A YouTube mom who announced she had "rehomed" the 5-year-old boy she adopted from China two years ago is now under investigation for the move.
Ohio authorities are investigating the whereabouts of Huxley Stauffer, whose adoptive parents, James and Myka Stauffer, revealed in a YouTube video that they had placed him with another family. The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has been working with "several other agencies" to investigate the case, a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
Investigators said Huxley "is not missing" but the investigation is ongoing, as the parents announced they had "rehomed" Huxley in a private adoption — divulging little else about where the boy lives now.
Huxley is autistic, and Myka claimed they chose to give him to a new family after behavioral issues, saying they felt it was best for Huxley's well-being.
“He’s thriving, he’s doing really well, and his new mommy has medical, professional training,” Myka, who has four other children, said in her video. “Numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit. He needed more."
The couple has received intense backlash following the announcement, as Myka advocated for international adoption and made Huxley a central part of her YouTube platform after adopting the 2-year-old child in 2017. Myka’s channel has 717,000 subscribers, and the family’s channel, The Stauffer Life, has 332,000 now.
Many also pointed to a now-deleted Instagram post where Myka posed with the boy with a caption that exclaimed, “I wouldn’t trade him for anything!” The New York Post reported. The post itself had doubled as a paid advertisement for Dreft laundry detergent for newborns.
"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. Over time, the team of medical professionals advised our clients it might be best for Huxley to be placed with another family. This is devastating news for any parent," attorneys for the couple previously told BuzzFeed News.
It is legal to rehome an adopted child or a biological child, though the process of doing so is complicated, The Cut reported.
"All adoption cases are confidential, and must go through a thorough process, with specific requirements and safeguards," The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "In private adoptions there are the same legal requirements that must be adhered to. These include home studies as well as background checks on the adopting parent(s)."