Myka Stauffer has returned to social media with an apology a month after her decision to place her adopted son Huxley with a new family sparked widespread backlash.
Last month, Myka and her husband James Stauffer revealed in a YouTube video titled: “An update on our family,” that Huxley, who they adopted from China in 2017 and who has autism, had a “lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of”.
In the video, the couple from Columbus, Ohio, said they had seen numerous specialists but had ultimately decided to find a new home for their four-year-old son.
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The decision prompted criticism and outrage from the couple’s followers and subscribers, and led to the launch of an investigation into the well-being of both Huxley and the couple’s four biological children.
On Wednesday, Myka broke her silence with a lengthy Instagram post in which she said she wanted to “apologise for the uproar and take full responsibility for all of the hurt that I have caused.”
“This decision has caused so many people heartbreak and I’m sorry for letting down so many women that looked up to me as a mother,” Myka said. “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.
“I could have never anticipated the incidents which occurred on a private level to ever have happened, and I was trying my best to navigate the hardest thing I have ever been through.”
In the post, Myka acknowledged that she was “not selective or fully equipped or prepared” when she started the adoption process and that she needed more “training”.
She said: “I can’t say I wish this never happened because I’m still so glad Huxley is here and getting all of the help he needs.
“I also know that even though he is happier in his new home and doing better that he still experienced trauma and I’m sorry, no adoptee deserves any more trauma.”
“I wanted to help so bad I was willing to bring home any child that needed me,” she continued. “For this I was naive, foolish, and arrogant.”
In the statement, Myka also expressed her admiration and respect for “every adoptee, adoption parent, and special needs parent” before addressing “a couple complete rumours” about her family’s decision to find Huxley a new home.
According to Myka, the couple did not adopt Huxley, who they often featured in sponsored YouTube videos and who was the subject of 27 videos related to their “adoption journey”, to “gain wealth”.
“While we did receive a small portion of money from videos featuring Huxley and his journey, every penny and much more went back into his care,” she wrote, adding that getting Huxley the care he needed was “very expensive”.
The parenting influencer also denied claims the family is “under any type of investigation” by authorities.
A spokesperson for the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office previously told The Independent it launched an investigation into the well-being of Huxley following “several enquiries regarding the welfare” of a child placed up for adoption.
“Our primary concern is for the well-being of this child, as well as the other children in the household. Our investigation is ongoing, and will include contact with all children to ensure their safety,” the spokesperson said.
Myka concluded her statement, which has had comments disabled: “We love Huxley and know that this was the right decision for him and his future. Praying that Huxley only has the best future in the entire world.”
Attorneys for the Stauffers previously told The Independent the couple had decided on the adoption dissolution after consulting “with multiple professionals in the healthcare and educational arenas in order to provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care.”
“Over time, the team of medical professionals advised our clients it might be best for Huxley to be placed with another family,” the attorneys said, adding that the process of finding a new home for Huxley “did NOT include any considerations for placement in the foster system, but rather to hand-select a family who is equipped to handle Huxley’s needs.”