Thousands have signed a petition to stop the family from profiting off an autistic child they gave away after featuring him in 27 videos.
Over 13,000 people have signed a petition urging the Stauffer family to remove any videos of their former child, four-year-old, Huxley, from their monetized YouTube Channels.
The family adopted the boy from China in 2017, but in the late winter and early spring viewers began to notice that Huxley stopped appearing in any of the family's videos.
On Tuesday, the family released a video announcing they had placed Huxley with another family via an adoption agency. Huxley sufferers from autism and various health issues including brain damage.
an update on our family www.youtube.com
"With international adoptions, sometimes there's unknowns and things that are not transparent on files," Huxley's former adoptive father, James, says in the video. "There wasn't a minute that [we] didn't try our hardest," Myka added.
"Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500 percent," Myka says.
"There's not an ounce of our body that doesn't love Huxley with all of our being," Myka tearfully added. "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."
The couple created 27 videos about their "adoption journey" including a 13-part series of "adoption updates" for YouTube. Myka's YouTube channel has over 700,000 subscribers and The Stauffer Family channel has over 300,000.
The large following was built predominantly on the adoption of Huxley and resulted in Myka becoming an international adoption advocate. The channel also brought in several lucrative sponsorships.
One that hasn't aged so well was a 2018 Instagram post sponsored by Dreft detergent featuring Myka and Huxley snuggling in front of a tub of laundry. "I love everything about this little boy and I wouldn't trade him for anything!" Myka writes.
Myka also claims that Huxley, a four-year-old with autism who suffers complications from brain damage, chose to leave the family.
"Huxley wanted this decision 100% we saw that in family time with other people, he constantly choose them and signed and showed tons of emotion to show us and let us know he wanted this," she wrote on Instagram.
The Stauffer's family's decision has angered many who feel the family abandoned the child after profiting from his adoption. It also begs the question: should parents be making videos of their children and posting them to YouTube for profit?
A Change.org petition is quickly nearing its goal of 15,000 signatures to "Demand The Stauffers remove all monetized content ft. Huxley from their YouTube channel."
"He's done enough for the Stauffers," the petition reads. "He bought them a McMansion, multiple vacations a year, etc. What did he get in exchange? He got re-homed as if her were a freaking puppy!"
"Before anyone comes at me riddle me this...if any of The Stauffers' bio kids develop any mental disorders later on in life are they just going to re-home them too? Hell no!" the petition continues. "Huxley was expendable to these vile human beings. He no longer fits into their aesthetic so bye bye he goes."
While Stauffer's story is disturbing, there may be a silver lining. Hopefully, Huxley has found a family situation where he will be safe and have all of the care he needs to thrive.
More on Good.is