"We would never just give up a child with special needs."
UPDATE 6:46AM 5/29/2020:
YouTuber Myka Stauffer responded to the massive amount of criticism she received online after revealing she "rehomed" her autistic son she adopted 3 years ago.
Taking to the comments section of her original post announcing the decision on Tuesday, the Ohio native wrote, "We would never just give up a child with special needs, this is a personal matter to Hux it had nothing to do with he just had Autism."
"Huxley wanted this descion [sic] 100% we saw that in family time with other poeple [sic], he constantly chose them and signed with and showed tons of emotion to show us and let us know he wanted this," she continued. "Huxley never had a say in his adoption, and he needed more help and also wanted this and we know that 100%."
Original story below 9:23AM 5/28/2020:
A YouTube star is getting backlash for "rehoming" her autistic son who she adopted nearly 3 years ago from China.
In her latest video posted to her channel on Tuesday, Myka Stauffer, alongside her husband James, confessed to her 717,000 subscribers that the couple were not aware of the level of medical attention their son, Huxley, required and so they placed him in a new "forever" home to better suit his needs.
"This is by far the hardest video James and I have ever publicly had to make," she said in the seven minute clip. "There's not an ounce of our body that doesn't love Huxley with all of our being."
"There wasn't a minute that I didn't try our hardest," she continued through tears. "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."
"With international adoption, sometimes there's unknowns and things that are not transparent on files and things like that," James explained. "Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren't aware of and that we were not told."
The couple documented almost every stage of their adoption journey. In an article written for The Bump, Myka revealed Huxley had a brain tumor, a brain cyst and was "profoundly developmentally delayed."
"He would violently bang his head against the wall and bite and pinch anyone who came too close, including his new siblings," she wrote.
After putting Huxley in "intense therapy," the couple ultimately decided to give him up for adoption, but asked their subscribers for privacy and said they couldn't give further details as to why they wanted to find him a new home.
After a four month search, Myka said the adoption agency placed Huxley with a family that it thought was "literally the perfect match."
"He is thriving. He is very happy. He's doing really well. And his new mommy has medical-professional training, and it is a very good fit," Myka explained.
The video had been viewed over 100,000 times in one day, and many of the comments were supportive of the couple's decision.
"As an adoption professional, we are quick to judge adoptive parents who 'give up,'" wrote a follower. "This is extremely heartbreaking and eye opening to hear from the other side what adoptive parents go through when making tough decisions. Thank you for sharing your story."
However, a hefty backlash began as critics called out Myka for monetizing the adoption.
Myka had produced 27 videos about the adoption journey and one where the family traveled to China to meet Huxley for the first time garnered 5.5 million views.
Some of the Huxley update videos were sponsored by companies like Dreft, according to Buzzfeed.
Myka maintained several sponsors through the adoption journey on Instagram as well.
In September, Myka uploaded a video for Huxley's two-year adoption anniversary.
"If you are on my channel and you are here for the Huxley content, give this video a thumbs-up," she exclaimed.
"Extremely depressed reading about the influencer who raised funds to adopt a son, made this her 'brand,' discovered he has special needs, secretly rehomed him, blocked ppl asking about him (after her followers helped fund the adoption) & put out a video making herself the victim," posted a Twitter user.
Another wrote, "Imagine adopting a special needs child from China, naming him Huxley (a crime in itself), exploiting him for sponsorship money and monetized videos, and then 'rehoming' him when things got to hard. LIKE HE IS A PET AND NOT AN ACTUAL HUMAN CHILD."