A Chinese boy allegedly “rehomed” by his adoptive parents from Ohio is now in the process of finding a new family, authorities in Delaware said.
Speculations into the whereabouts of Huxley Stauffer, 5, began to circulate after his parents’ announcement that he no longer lives with them — a decision reportedly made following the advice of “multiple professionals in the healthcare and educational arenas.”
In an emotional video posted last week, YouTubers Myka and James Stauffer — who have four other children — revealed that letting their adopted son go was the “hardest thing” they ever had to do.
Huxley, who appeared in the family’s videos, has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder level 3 and is “profoundly developmentally delayed,” Myka wrote in 2017.
Ahead of bringing Huxley home, the adoption agency reportedly informed Myka and James that he had “brain tumor” and “brain damage.” They went through the process but did not realize the full extent of his needs.
“With international adoption, sometimes there are unknowns and things that are not transparent on files,” James said. “Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of and that we were not told.”
Myka and James adopted Huxley through the World Association for Parents and Children (WACAP), which serves kids in Bulgaria, China, Congo, Haiti, India, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S.
How the couple tried to put Huxley in a new home is unclear, but the legal process is called “adoption dissolution.”
In adoption dissolution, parents relinquish their rights to the child, who is then either adopted a second time by another family or placed in the state foster care system.
Another method is known as “rehoming,” which bypasses all legal requirements and easily disregards the safety of the child.
Myka and James has since faced criticism for their decision to give up Huxley. Some also alleged that the child was exploited for money.
“It takes a special kind of evil to PURPOSELY search out a child, adopt them and then ‘rehome’ him like a fucking dog when he didn’t conform to your aesthetically pleasing, white-washed life,” a Twitter user commented. “Myka Stauffer monetised, abused and exploited Huxley — with no ramifications.”
This week, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office brought some good news in confirming that Huxley “is not missing” and that they are working with “several other agencies” to investigate the case.
“All adoption cases are confidential, and must go through a thorough process, with specific requirements and safeguards,” Tracy Whited, the office’s community and media relations manager, told BuzzFeed News. “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 they are confident of an “appropriate process” and that both parties — the Stauffers and Huxley’s new family — are “represented by attorneys to ensure full compliance with the court process.”
Videos showing Huxley are no longer available on the Stauffers’ family channel, as well as Myka’s.
While the Stauffers faced some backlash, they also received well-wishes from others.
“I’ve been a subscriber for a really long time. I love your personality, video content and most of all your love for life,” one fan commented. “I’m saddened by the outpouring of negative, hateful feedback from our society. Never have I doubted your love for your family and all human beings. It doesn’t matter what everyone thinks, you know what you did was best for Huxley. He’s in an amazing situation now and thanks to you! Stay proud knowing the tough decisions were the right ones in the long run. All my love and support.”
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