'I was naive, foolish, and arrogant': Myka Stauffer apologized following backlash for placing her adopted son with a new family
parentingYouTuber Myka Staufferbroke her month-long social-media silence following backlash to a video in which she and her husband revealed that they had placed their adopted son, Huxley, in a new home.
- In the video, the Stauffers said they were no longer equipped to address Huxley's medical needs and he had been placed in a home where he could receive the appropriate interventions.
- The Stauffer family received intense backlash from followers who accused them of abandonment and exploitation. In response, several of the family's high-profile sponsors said they would no longer partner with the Stauffers.
- On Wednesday evening, Stauffer apologized on Instagram.
- Stauffer said she'd been "naive" and "unprepared" for the
- Stauffer also said the money earned from her monetized content had been allocated to financing Huxley's needs, and she seemed to dispute recent reports that the family was under investigation.
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The parenting YouTuber Myka Stauffer has taken to Instagram to apologize for a recent YouTube video in which she said she had placed her son Huxley, who she adopted from China in 2017 and featured in numerous videos and sponsored Instagram posts, with a new family.
On May 26, Stauffer posted a video titled "an update on our family" to her channel in which she and her husband, James, told their 700,000 subscribers that after years of "numerous therapies" and serious interventions to address Huxley's developmental disabilities and autism they had decided to find the 5-year-old a home that was better equipped to support his medical needs.
"Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500%," Stauffer said in the video. "It's not about me at all, but it's just, like, this journey has been — the last couple months have been, like, the hardest thing I could have ever imagined."
The video — and the Stauffer family — received instant backlash online. Commenters accused the couple of abandonment, exploitation, and poor parenting, pointing to the family's monetized content featuring Huxley and clips from previous vlogs as evidence of abuse.
Amid the backlash, several of Stauffer's high-profile sponsors including Fabletics and Danimals announced that they had no intention of working with the influencer in the future.
Lawyers for the couple released a statement to People magazine saying the family's decision reflected their devotion to their children and was made in response to medical advice.
"We are privy to this case and given the facts at hand, we feel this was the best decision for Huxley," Thomas Taneff and Taylor Sayers said in the statement. "In coming to know our clients we know they are a loving family and are very caring parents that would do anything for their children."
Stauffer did not address the situation publicly for four weeks, but she removed photos of Huxley from her Instagram page, and the YouTube video has been set to private.
Breaking the silence with an apology
In an Instagram post on Wednesday night, Stauffer addressed the backlash, telling followers she took "full responsibility" for the hurt caused by her family's choices.
"This decision has caused so many people heartbreak and I'm sorry for letting down so many women who looked up to me as a mother," she wrote. "I'm sorry for the confusion and pain I have caused, and I am sorry for not being able to tell more of my story from the beginning."
She went on to say she never could have anticipated the challenges that transpired "on a private level" and had been "naive" about the adoption process, adding that she acquired her Hague adoption certification — a credential required by many accredited adoption agencies — after just one day of at-home video training.
"I was not selective or fully equipped or prepared," she wrote.
Stauffer continued, saying she did not regret bringing Huxley to the US, as the move led him to another family she said was equipped to address his needs — but she acknowledged that he "still experienced trauma" as a result of the adoption dissolution.
"I wanted to help so bad I was willing to bring home any child that needed me," she wrote. "For this, I was naive, foolish, and arrogant. I wish so bad I could have been prepared or done more."
Stauffer also addressed adoptees, adoptive parents, and parents of children with developmental disabilities.
"I look up to you in a million ways," she wrote.
Stauffer concluded by saying the adoption had not been a lucrative opportunity in the influencer space; money made from monetized context featuring Huxley, she said, was allocated to his care. She also seemed to dispute reports that the family was under investigation.
Comments on the post have been limited.
Comments on Twitter, however, have been largely critical.
"I have zero sympathy for a wealthy naive white lady who traumatized a young special needs child because she wanted to be a white savior. F---- Myka Stauffer. Next," one Twitter user wrote.
"@mykastauffers excuse is because the adoption agency didn't include in training video not to EXPLOIT your child, drag them around all day in sensory triggering environments, mock, belittle, harass she didn't know? She couldn't last a day in the life of Huxley," another wrote.
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