In the bio for her YouTube channel, which has nearly 700,000 subscribers, Myka Stauffer describes herself as "a Mommy of 4 from Ohio and Married to My best friend." Unspoken is that until earlier this year, Stauffer and husband James had five children. The missing child is Huxley, a severely autistic boy they adopted from China as a baby. In a feature at the Cut, Caitlin Moscatello revisits the couple's controversial move to give up Huxley, then nearly 5, because his special needs were too overwhelming. It was a wrenching decision, but because the Stauffers had been vlogging about Huxley since his adoption—and making money from that—the backlash has been severe. The Stauffers "have been held up as examples of what is wrong with both influencer and adoption culture—and what can happen when a child is caught at the intersection," writes Moscatello.
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office even conducted an investigation after the couple's critics raised worries about their other kids. That investigation sheds more light on just how bad things had gotten with Huxley. It reveals the Stauffers hired a full-time caregiver to prevent what they called his "severe aggression" toward the other kids. One example: He would remove registers from the floors and try to hit the other children. Several caregivers quit because Huxley's outbursts were so relentless. Myka's channel has been quiet for months since her Huxley announcement, and the question is whether she will return. Given her large base of subscribers, a fellow parent vlogger thinks she will. "Would her backlash be ridiculous? A million percent," the vlogger says. "She would have to decide for herself, 'Am I willing to face the criticism?'” (Read the full story.)