Officials Are Now Investigating the Well-Being of Influencer's 'Rehomed' Adopted Child

Myka and James Stauffer
Myka Stauffer/YouTube

Last week, YouTube-famous parents Myka and James Stauffer caused a firestorm of controversy after announcing that they had "rehomed" their 5-year-old son Huxley, whom they adopted from China in 2017. While the Stauffers maintain that doing so was in the best interest of the child, who has autism, and that it had actually been recommended by several specialists following undisclosed "incidents" inside the home, the backlash has been intense. And now, reports have surfaced that officials in Ohio have launched an investigation into Huxley's well-being.

  • The Delaware County Sheriff's Office confirmed the investigation to E! News on Wednesday.

    However, Tracey Whited, the community and media relations manager for the sheriff's office, did clarify that the investigation is not about the child's whereabouts, as initial reports indicated. "This child is not missing," she reportedly told the outlet. Rather, it's about determining Huxley's welfare now that he's been placed in a new environment.

    "Our primary concern is for the well-being of this child, as well as the other children in the household," said Whited, in a statement to E! News. "Our investigation is ongoing, and will include contact with all children to ensure their safety."

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  • Since the actual adoption case is highly confidential, no other details were released at this time.

    "All adoption cases are confidential, and must go through a thorough process, with specific requirements and safeguards," Whited told BuzzFeed. "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)."

    Whited added that authorities "are confident that the appropriate process is occurring" in this case, though BuzzFeed did note that it continues to be unclear "who facilitated the transfer of Huxley to the new family and which, if any, state or adoption agencies were consulted."

  • The Stauffers made the shocking announcement on May 26, in a YouTube video they shared with their 703K followers.

    "So this is by far the hardest video James and I have ever publicly had to make," Myka began the video, before her husband James explained things further.

    "With international adoption, sometimes there's unknowns, and things that are not transparent on files, and once Huxley came home, there were a lot more special needs that we weren't aware of," James shared.

    "For us, it's been really hard hearing from the medical professionals, a lot of their feedback and things that have been upsetting -- really upsetting for us," he continued. "We've been trying to get his needs met and help him out as much as possible. It's really hard, we truly love him."

  • Ultimately, the Stauffers said that after "numerous" visits with specialists, they made the difficult decision to "rehome" Huxley.

    "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," Myka shared. "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 in his medical needs. He needed more."

  • Outrage over the situation quickly grew, with multiple petitions calling for YouTube to demonetize any of the Stauffer's videos that featured Huxley.

    "They got in over their heads and pulled an already traumatized boy from another country, made money off of him, and then gave him to someone else," one petition reads. "It is clear that this boy was unfortunately treated like an accessory to their life. The adoption process is very thorough and these adults knew exactly what they were getting themselves into. They even admit they had many medical professionals advising them."

    As of Thursday, it had reached more than 150,000 signatures, and has been marked a "Victory." Meanwhile, all of Myka's photos that featured Huxley have been removed from Instagram.

  • The couple hasn't given any details about where Huxley is living now, citing privacy concerns.

    But following the public criticism -- which, in addition to the petitions, included thousands of social media users accusing them of "using" the boy for social media content -- the Stauffers did issue a statement. In it, the couple claimed that they "hand-selected" a new family for the 5-year-old. What's more, Myka reportedly wrote in one Instagram comment that Huxley himself gravitated toward the new living situation.

    "Huxley wanted this [decision] 100% we saw that in family time with other [people], he constantly chose them and signed with and showed tons of emotion to show us and let us know he wanted this," Myka continued in her comment. "Huxley never had a say in his adoption, and he needed more help and also wanted this and we know that 100%."

  • The couple didn't give many details about where Huxley is living now, citing privacy concerns.

    But following public criticism -- which included many social media users accusing them of "using" the boy for social media content -- the Stauffers did issue a statement. In it, the couple claimed that they "hand-selected" a new family for the 5-year-old. What's more, Myka reportedly wrote in one Instagram comment that Huxley himself gravitated toward the new living situation.

    "Huxley wanted this [decision] 100% we saw that in family time with other [people], he constantly chose them and signed with and showed tons of emotion to show us and let us know he wanted this," Myka continued in her comment. "Huxley never had a say in his adoption, and he needed more help and also wanted this and we know that 100%."