It's been a week since YouTubers Myka Stauffer and James Stauffer shared their decision to place their adopted son, Huxley, in the care of another family. Now, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office confirms to E! News they're investigating the well-being of the child.
BuzzFeed News, which first reported the investigation, wrote authorities are investigating the whereabouts of the child. Tracy Whited, the community and media relations manager for the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, told E! News the department has received "several inquiries regarding the welfare" of a local child placed for adoption. She made it clear that "this child is not missing."
"Our primary concern is for the well-being of this child, as well as the other children in the household," Whited said in a statement to E! News. "Our investigation is ongoing, and will include contact with all children to ensure their safety. All adoption cases are confidential, and must go through a thorough process, with specific requirements and safeguards. 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). In this case we are confident that the appropriate process is occurring."
She also noted that "both parties are being represented by attorneys to ensure full compliance with the court process."
No other details were released due to the "confidential nature of this case." However, a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the office is working with "several other agencies" on this investigation.
BuzzFeed News also wrote "it is unclear who facilitated the transfer of Huxley to the new family and which, if any, state or adoption agencies were consulted." Val Turner, a spokesperson for local child protection agency Franklin County Children Services, told BuzzFeed News in a separate report that the child is not in its custody. Myka has previously said the couple worked with World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP), which merged with Holt International in 2019. Susan Soonkeum Cox, VP for policy and external affairs for Holt International, told BuzzFeed News the agency couldn't comment on whether it was involved in the adoption process.
"Putting it on social media and describing it as, 'We found another family,' well what does that mean?" Cox told the outlet. "Did they go through an agency? Was there another home study done on the other family? That part is highly unusual."
Per the report, the Stauffers did not return BuzzFeed News' request for comment or more information.
The Stauffers announced that Huxley is living with his "new forever family" in a YouTube video last week. After the couple received criticism from their followers, their attorneys told People the decision was made to "provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care."
"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," their lawyers, Thomas Taneff and Taylor Sayers, told the magazine. "Since his adoption, they consulted 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."
While the attorneys said "this is devastating news for any parent," they also said Myka and James "came to the difficult determination to follow the advice of the medical professionals."
"To be clear this 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," they said. "They were forced to make a difficult decision, but it is in fact, the right and loving thing to do for this child."
The couple first announced they were adopting Huxley in 2016. In a blog post for the Bump, Myka wrote that she and her husband had been told that Huxley had been diagnosed with a brain cyst. They met him in 2017. In her post, Myka wrote he "was profoundly developmentally delayed."
"Once Huxley came home, there were a lot more special needs that we weren't aware of and we were not told," James added in their recent video. "So over the past few years, Huxley has been in numerous therapies to try to help him with all of his needs. And, over the last year, has been a more intense therapy that he's been in to try and help him as much possible with this severe needs."
According to her Bump post, Myka and James later learned that Huxley "had a stroke in utero." He was also later diagnosed with "autism spectrum disorder level three."
Myka and James didn't share too many details of Huxley's whereabouts in their video, citing his privacy, but explained why they didn't share the news sooner.
"The reason we haven't updated you sooner is because the medical professionals, the agencies, multiple people have been allowing for Huxley to spend time with some different people to see and to make the perfect match and fit for his now new forever family. From the updates we've gotten from the agency and through the adoption agency, like, they were able to place him in what they felt was, literally, the perfect match," she said. "Like Jimmy said earlier, when we got Hux, we didn't know a lot of these unknowns and when agencies or adoption agencies have more pieces of the pie or more pieces, it makes the matching process a little better or a healthier match. And they found somebody that they felt would be, ultimately, the best fit."
She also claimed Huxley is "thriving."
"He is very happy," she said. "He's doing really well and his new mommy has medical professional training and is a very good fit."