YouTuber Myka Stauffer and her husband won’t face charges for ‘rehoming’ adopted son with autism
Family YouTubers Myka and James Stauffer will not face criminal charges after authorities determined their young son Huxley, whom they adopted more than two years ago from China, was safe in his new home.
BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday that Delaware County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio has closed the case against the couple after meeting with Huxley and his “prospective adoptive parents” on June 9.
The redacted report obtained by the outlet confirms that authorities found no signs of abuse against Huxley, who communicates with his prospective adoptive mother through sign language and a few words like “momma,” “go” and “open.”
“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 in the report. “[Huxley] appeared to be very happy and well taken care of.”
Authorities opened the investigation into the Stauffers after the couple revealed last month that Huxley was no longer living in their home and had been placed with another family.
The announcement was met with fierce pushback from critics on social media, who accused the Stauffers of exploiting Huxley and participating in human trafficking since the couple documented their lengthy adoption process in sponsored videos.
The couple was asked by law enforcement about the GoFundMe they had set up to raise money for adoption, BuzzFeed News reported. They claimed that they raised $800 from the fundraiser, which they used for the initial screening by an adoption agency. They said Huxley’s adoption cost $42,000 total.
“As far as the talk of possible human trafficking against [Huxley], it was determined that the process of his adoption is being conducted legally,” Leonard concluded in the report.
Huxley, who was reportedly 2 years old in October 2017, has had his foreign adoption finalized but has not yet completed his U.S. adoption process, although Leonard noted that it is optional and not required.
“At this time the investigation will be closed out with no further follow up from our office,” she wrote.
Authorities also conduced welfare checks on the couple’s other four children and found no evidence of abuse. The family said they have received death threats and are planning on moving over safety concerns, BuzzFeed News reported.
In July 2016, the couple announced that they were adopting a boy from China, and Myka Stauffer made dozens of monetized videos about the process.
She shared in an article for Parade that the adoption agency she worked with to adopt the child told the couple that Huxley had a “brain tumor” and “brain damage.”
Stauffer continued to make videos about the child after his adoption. She later shared that his special needs file was not accurate, saying Huxley had “a stroke in utero, has Level 3 autism, and sensory processing disorder.”
After viewers noticed that Huxley was no longer featured in videos, the Stauffers last month admitted that he had been placed with another family due to undisclosed behavioral issues.
“After multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit in his medical needs, he needed more,” Myka Stauffer said in a video titled “An update on our family.” She added that “multiple scary things happened inside the home towards our other children.”
Huxley’s new prospective mother has medical professional training, and Myka Stauffer said that he is “thriving” and “doing really well” in the new environment.
The couple immediately faced criticism for sharing personal details of Huxley’s life in monetized videos. A petition for the Stauffers to remove all monetized content featuring Huxley has more than 47,000 signatures as of Tuesday.
Myka Stauffer retuned to Instagram last week for the first time since the backlash, apologizing for being naive and unprepared about the adoption process.
“I wanted to help so bad I was willing to bring home any child that needed me,” she wrote. “For this I was foolish, naive, and arrogant. I wish so bad I was more prepared and done more.”