Adopting an orphan for internet clout…

Disclaimer: This is bare-bones explanation of this story. Honestly, there could probably be a novel written about all of the skeletons in this family’s closet, but the most important pieces are here. For the purpose of this story, I have not shared the name of the child which I speak. He is no longer legally their child and thus, being a minor, I did not want to post the child’s name on this blog.

I’ve long since had issues with ‘family vloggers’ and people who use their children to make them money on YouTube. It’s one thing to call yourself an influencer and use YouTube to broadcast every aspect of your own life, but it’s a completely separate thing to do that to your child.

A child doesn’t get a say in the matter. A child doesn’t have the frame of reference to understand the ramifications of a digital footprint when they’re eight, for example. Children also (largely) aren’t paid for the work they’re doing to make their parents wealthy via YouTube. Because, if we’re being completely honest, these parents, without the adorable kids doing funny things, would be rather boring and no one would tune in. Parents know their children are click-bait to the masses and they take advantage of that, subsequently not giving their children a dime in the process.

Insert the Stauffer Family.

Myka and James Stauffer have come under fire recently for FINALLY acknowledging to the world that they have ‘unadopted’ their adopted special needs son from China. The phrase they used was ‘rehoming’. But let’s be real here, this isn’t a pet. This is a living, breathing human child who has now been abandoned again. Yeah, the term abandoned is a much better term for it.

It’s estimated that dissolution of adoption happens in roughly 10% of adoptive cases in the United States (Source: Children’s Welfare Information Gateway) So, an adoption not working out is not a new concept. Why then, have the Stauffer’s made international headlines?

After being relatively anonymous in the YouTube spectrum for nearly a decade, The Stauffer’s adopted a special needs child from China and brought him to the United States in 2017. They proceeded to film every aspect of their lives with new adopted son and upload videos to YouTube for profit ever since. These videos of their adoptive child have made them rich. Rich, rich, rich, rich, rich. They skyrocketed from 4,000 subscribers to millions of subscribers amassed from five different YouTube channels. They found a ‘niche’ that people couldn’t help but tune in for, and they exploited it. That niche being a little orphan boy with a beautiful smile and rambunctious personality. People genuinely fell in love with their son and they knew that… and they took advantage of that.

At best, what you could call this is child exploitation. At worst, this story really borderlines on child trafficking, if we’re being totally honest. They built a wealthy empire upon the likes of this child for three years and then, when they decided he was no longer profitable, they put him into foster care.

Backtracking a little bit here, Myka has been trying to become famous through YouTube for more than a decade. She tried fitting into the ‘hot girl with the amazing diet tips’ niche and that didn’t work. She tried fitting into the ‘I’m going to teach you how to cook’ niche and that didn’t take either. She also had her go at the ‘Single Mom, doing it on my own’ niche, but quickly pivoted when she met and married her now husband in a rather swift time frame.

After marrying her husband and quickly having her second child, Myka and James began documenting every step of their lives and their children’s lives on Youtube in 2013. They lead a very modest life, went on to have a third child and documented every single step of it on YouTube, amassing only 4,000 subscribers between 2013 and late 2016.

In late 2016, Myka started an adoption series on her YouTube channel. She had decided that she wanted to adopt and that she wanted to adopt right away. Apparently god had called her to adopt and she needed another child in her life immediately.

Because she had no issues with fertility, three young children and she and her husband were unwilling to adopt an older child, they sought to adopt from overseas. She is on video stating that she specifically chose China as the country to adopt a child from because it would allow her to adopt a child the fastest.

Prior to even adopting her son, she made a 13 part series all about him, how she literally picked him from a catalogue and how he was now her son who she’d ‘birthed in her heart’. It was all very sweet, very hertfelt, very saviouristic.

She took the thirteen part series to explain that the child that her and her husband wished to adopt was one with special needs. He was living in an Orphanage in China, was nearly two years old and (they were told) he had a brain tumor.

Myka also took the thirteen part series to explain that she had this child’s medical records reviewed by doctors in the United States and that the doctors here had warned her about adopting him because his prognosis was quite severe and could cause for around the clock care.

Myka, again on video, said ‘I used to be a nurse before becoming a stay at home mom, so whatever it is, we can handle it’.

Myka and James subsequently used a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds to adopt their son from China. Though they did not need the money for the adoption, they were happy to essentially ‘crowdfund’ to pay for the process because… why not? The GoFundMe actually garnered the family a lot of attention and the couple were touted as incredible saviours for rescuing this boy from life in a Chinese orphanage.

While the adoption process was still going through, they were already showing photos and video footage of their to-be son for the world to see. And, when they brought him home, their YouTube channel skyrocketed.

Their ‘Gotcha Day’ video they uploaded of the day they picked their son up and he legally became theirs garnered more than 5,000,000 views and was monetized up the whazoo.

And, after they brought him home, they filmed his every move. His every struggle with adopting to a new life in the USA, his trauma from being torn from his home country, his adapting to a new family he didn’t know, they put it all out there. They did it because it got them attention, it got them views and it grew the balance of their bank account.

Keep in mind here, Myka had three biological children and this adopted child from China was responsible for the majority of the content on her YouTube channel. She wrote articles for Bump Magazine, was featured in People Magazine and got a lot of national attention because she was this incredible mom who rescued this boy from China, knowing he had a brain tumor, to give him a better life.

Along the way, Myka and James learned that it wasn’t a brain tumor their son was suffering from. Rather, once reaching the United States, he was diagnosed with Autism. Myka quickly took the opportunity to become the ‘autism mom’ and ‘autism advocate for youtube’ despite the fact that she clearly knew nothing about autism.

People started to notice a change in this family. While everyone were tuning in to see this adorable little boy, the family took to exploiting him for each diagnosis he was given, for every struggle that he had. At one point he was seen on one of their YouTube videos with his thumbs duct taped. Myka later explained in a comment that she did that because they were annoyed that he would not stop sucking his thumb. The channel became more about this little boy and less about the family.

Don’t get me wrong, if you look at her YouTube channel, she did upload other content from time to time… including ‘What I eat in a day to stay skinny’ and ‘Cleaning the whole house because it’s a disaster’, but none of those videos ever garnered the views that her adopted son was getting. So, she continued exploiting him.

Adoption updates. Autism updates. [Son’s Name] first therapy session. Celebrating Chinese New Year for [Sons’s Name]. All of these videos were centered around him. Why? Because people tuned into her channel to see him. They wanted to see him grow, flourish and become his own person. They wanted the best for him. The views turned into big bucks for this family.

Between 2017 and 2020, the Stauffer’s also proclaimed they were going to adopt another child from China because they loved their son so much and wanted to rescue another boy. Also during this time, they went on to have another biological child, meaning that they had four biological children and one adopted child.

Between 2017 to 2020, Myka’s channel grew from 4,000 subscribers to more than 700,000 subscribers. The family vlog channel grew to 350,000 subscribers and her husband’s YouTube channel grew to nearly a million YouTube subscribers. They bought a 6,4000 square foot million dollar hom and multiple $90,000 SUVs, took vacations to California and Flordia, Myrtle Beach, London and more… staying in swanky hotels along the way. They were ‘living the life’ all because they were the saviours of this adorable little boy.

It’s worth noting here that after seeing doctors in the United States, their son was diagnosed as being non-verbal autistic. So he largely did not speak. That didn’t stop the family from click-baiting multiple videos with titles like [Son’s Name] Finally Speaks, we’re so happy! and so on and so forth.

They knew what was making their money, so they kept it up for clicks.

All of the sudden in January 2020, this little boy seemingly disappeared. For a woman who’d been exploiting his every move, every tantrum, every struggle, every doctor’s appointment, every piece to his life since 2017, it was odd… to say the least.

Where did he go?

People asked for months.

People asked and comments were deleted.

People emailed and were hit with responses from the Stauffer’s lawyers.

People commented on their YouTube channel and they got blocked.

Where was their son?

The couple went on a luxury several week long vacation in February to Indonesia and boasted on social media about staying in a room that cost $9,000 a night.

But where was their little boy?

All of their biological children were still appearing in videos, but their adopted son was… gone?

No one knew. Every time someone kept asking, they would get blocked.

Screenshots started to circulate of the Stauffer’s complaining about their adopted son on adoption forums. (Probably wasn’t the wisest thing for them to use their real names to complain about their adopted son given the YouTube fame they’d skyrocketed into)

Footed started to circulate of Myka being really sinister towards their adopted son and people who were sharing them were getting letters/dms and emails from the Stauffer’s lawyers.

Where was this little boy?

Well, his birthday is June 1. And, as the majority of their following really started to realize he was missing and had been for a long time, getting closer to his birthday the questions started ramping up. They were getting so frequent that the couple couldn’t possibly delete/block everyone fast enough.

On May 26 the Stauffer’s uploaded a video to Myka’s channel explaining that they had ‘rehomed’ their adopted son. They fake cried throughout the video, had disingenuous jump-cuts and proclaimed that they couldn’t tell anyone they abandoned their son because of his privacy. They also proclaimed that they were lied to by the adoption agency and the Chinese government about the extent of their son’s special needs and that numerous doctors had told them to put their son up for adoption.

The whole video was incredibly contrived. Nothing about it was genuine.

Let’s keep in mind here that ‘god called on her’ to adopt a child with special needs. Let’s also remember that doctors warned her about the severity of this boy’s special needs and she is on video stating that it ‘went in one ear and out the other’ because she was a nurse and she could handle it.

Let’s also keep in mind here that they were on video proclaiming that they couldn’t afford the cost of his therapy, whilst also bragging on Instagram about staying in a $9,000 a night hotel room in Indonesia and living in a multi-million dollar home wearing a $10,000 watch on her hand…

Everything about this story just disheartens and disappoints me to my core.

Honestly, people struggle for years to try and adopt. They have to go through home studies and family vetting, have every aspect of their lives combed through to ensure they’re a safe fit and a good family to care for the child they’re adopting. And rightfully so. But there are so many people who try so hard to adopt a child and hit continuous roadblocks. Somehow, this couple, with a criminal past, managed to jump through all of the hoops of an international adoption within a matter of a few months to bring home a little boy from China.

The crowdfunded his adoption, exploited his life every step of the way and, when he was no longer profitable to them, they ‘rehomed’ him.

Imagine what it would feel like, psychologically speaking, to be one of the other four siblings in that home who this year just watched their parents give away one of their children. They’re all under the age of ten, and probably so young that they could be wondering if they screw up next, will their mom and did abandon them…

Knowing that the announcement of their ‘rehoming’ their son was going to get them a lot of views, they selected to have the video monetized on YouTube. It was quickly demonetized, I’m not sure if that was a YouTube choice or if someone reported their video as content that should not be monetized. It’s just telling of the parents that, after abandoning their son, they’re still choosing to profit from his story.

Myka Stauffer has also been filing copyright claims against people who’ve been using her video announcing the ‘rehoming’ of their son, as a measure to further profit from the story from content creators/people who are telling her story in a light that she might not like.

  • The adoption community is worried about whether or not China will penalize future adoptive parents who genuinely want to adopt because of the actions of the Stauffers.
  • The autism community is angry after all of her videos are being re-watched and scrutinized for her lack of empathy, acceptance of her child’s autism and willingness to help, care for or treat his needs
  • The general public (30,0000+) who enjoys watching family YouTube videos signed a ‘Change.Org’ petition to have her remove all images and videos of this little boy, since he is no longer legally their child and she has been still profiting off of videos and Instagram ads about him since abandoning him.

Myka has, since the video where she says she ‘rehomed’ her son, gone on to proclaim that the little boy, who is now five (was four at the time), expressed to them that he no longer wished to be a part of their family. She says that they unadopted him as per his wishes. When people called bullshit for that comment, she deleted it and had her lawyers send a statement regarding the child to major news outlets stating that the couple would no longer be speaking of this child.

Because when a non-verbal, autistic child says ‘Mommy I don’t like you I want a new mommy’ the obvious choice to make is to put your child up for adoption.

From my perspective, I can’t understand how a couple specifically seek out to adopt a child with special needs and then proclaim to millions of people that they unadopted your child because he had special needs. Those old videos still exist… the ones where they proclaim they specifically wanted a child with special needs. The videos where they proclaimed any and all special needs that could arise were fine with them because they could give a little boy a better life. With the sheer vastness of wealth they accrued in recent years, they could easily afford any and all treatments and therapy that would/could help the boy. (For reference, they’re on video bragging about making $47,000 for one YouTube video… so do the math there)

This whole situation just saddens me.

This little boy has now been abandoned three times in his short life. I can’t imagine the horror that must feel like. While he might just be better off without the Stauffers, I can’t help but feel sad because they did him so wrong.

I wanted to link to a few articles about this story, but the majority of articles use this little boys name and photos in their articles. If you want to read more about this story and this couple and why they’ve come under fire, please google ‘Myka and James Stauffer’.

They story hasn’t just made it all over national headlines in the USA, but it’s also made it to Chinese News Outlets, Australian news outlets, The Netherlands news outlets and more.

Honestly, after a decade of lying to the internet, there’s a pretty huge digital footprint from this family. One quick google search and you’ll start to realize that not everything is adding up about what they say on the matter.

72 thoughts on “Adopting an orphan for internet clout…

  1. Oh my god, my jaw just dropped throughout reading this. What kind of sick, psycho profits and exploits their own child, especially a child with special needs like this?

    Well, apparently those psychos are The Stauffer’s.

    Pardon my french, but that’s beyond fucked.

    “At one point he was seen on one of their YouTube videos with his thumbs duct taped. Myka later explained in a comment that she did that because they were annoyed that he would not stop sucking his thumb.”

    Child abuse, anyone?

    Just the amount of bull and lies that this couple spews can make enough for the manure industry.

    I can no longer be surprised at the levels of cruelty in this world anymore, but this is low. I’m speechless practically. They used and abused this innocent child for money, views, and YouTube fame.

    It makes me really concerned for their remaining children. This is beyond terrifying. It’s psychopathic.

    Thanks for sharing this, though. The more it’s out there, the more this couple can’t hide from it. I hope they get what they deserve.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I have serious issues with people who are willing to exploit their children on the internet for fame and money. This couple just seems to be a particular breed of sinister.

      Putting this adopted child aside, prior to this all going down a lot of her videos that contained her other children were complete violations of their privacy. It’s all good and gravy as they laugh to the bank when their kids are young, but what happens when those kids go to apply for jobs and someone can google them and find all of the inappropriate things their parents shared with the web? People aren’t thinking of the future ramifications of blasting their children to the web and it makes me feel sad for their kids.

      Also, I’m sad for their kids, who are all under ten. I wonder if they’re thinking ‘Well if I’m a bad kid they’ll get rid of me next?’ I mean, how can you possibly comprehend something like your parents giving up your sibling when you’re that young? And the fact that this couple went on for six months without acknowledging a damn thing and trying to hide it just shows how narcissistic they are.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I have issues generally with people using their children for money. But I can honestly say the whole we rehomed him was what got me, on this story, I personally think she should have to repay the money and then be banned for life from adopting any more children, because I bet she will give it a try

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m with you – I have serious issues with people who use their children to make money. At least when children are actors or on reality television there are laws in place limiting their exposure and ensuring the parents set aside money for the kids for when they’re older. That being said, YouTube is a free for all. The ACE family, a channel built entirely on the backs of their children (also with a story full of shady details) has an estimated net worth of 15 million dollars… all from making YouTube videos of their children, There should be laws set in place that if they’re going to exploit their kids online, their kids are required to earn [x] percentage of their declared income in trust.

      I’m honestly not sure, in the United States, if you can be banned from adopting. I honestly wouldn’t put it past this couple. They were pushing hard in their videos in 2018 saying they wanted to adopt a second child from China.

      I would love to hear them say they set up a trust for the son they abandoned. He was, after all, the reason they managed to get rich. But, given the track record of these people, I feel that’s very unlikely to ever be considered.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. YouTube is filled with them. There’s another family that’s come to light recently because their content is centered around their pre-teen daughters getting their menstrual cycles (because every girl wants that blasted to the internet) and shopping for ‘Period Kits’ and period appropriate underwear that their dad approves of. I honestly cannot make this shit up. Why would a child want that on the internet? They would never. And when they’re 18, 19 and 20 and going out to find jobs, they’re probably going to be absolutely humiliated.

      I’m rambling a lot, I just wanted to provide another example of what family vloggers do because, like Myka and James, there’s a lot of fucked up parents in this world who will exploit their children for money…

      Liked by 4 people

    1. The whole story is so sad.
      I really hope that little boy winds up with a family who loves and cares for him in a way that he deserves and who won’t ever abandoned him again. I know that all we can do now is hope because it’ll never be released publicly. But he deserved so much more out of life than what the Stauffer family did to him…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is all so sad, especially for the little boy. If this couple is as abusive as recorded/reported, their biological children could be at risk. Praying for all of these children.
    It is also sad that they used God in all of this. Many TRULY God fearing Christians adopt children from China and around the whole world, and love them as their own children.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The local sheriff’s office to this family has made a public statement after outcry from the internet stating there was an ongoing investigation about the welfare of all children and that they wouldn’t be making any more public statements about it. Which, good. If there was an investigation it shouldn’t be public. But I was happy to hear they were being investigated. Because part of me seriously worries about all five of the children.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I Praying God brings to light any harm this children may be in. Also praying God will help these two see their wrong, and help them to choose to do right.
        Thanks for sharing the story. If game is what drove this, they need to be exposed to where everyone will know them. I agree that they should be made to refund the monies made from this precious boy, maybe even made into a trust fund for his health needs.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re probably too young to have experienced this first hand, but James and Myka are classic examples of what was called the “Me Generation”. And of course, they throw god into the mix, as of religion isn’t having enough of a time these days without more of its poster children turning out to be run of the mill dirtbags out to prove that “there is no hate like Christian love”.
    Poor kid(s).

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Of course they throw god into the mix. Because if they claim it was something religion called them to do, people will like them more and hate them less, right? Ugh. They’re absolutely the poster parents of the ‘Me Generation’.

      The day the posted the video saying they ‘rehomed’ their child (god I hate that word) was also the exact day they filed legal documents in the state of Ohio to make their YouTube network an official company. Not at any point in the six months prior after abandoning him before making the video. The day they posted that video was the day they filed legal paperwork to incorporate their YouTube network into a business. I honestly think they probably would’ve ignored their missing child forever if they could. God probably just told them to ignore the questions, delete the comments and block people…

      Liked by 4 people

  5. This is such a horrible story with a little boy being the victim of what I consider narcissistic parents. How sad he was used as a pawn simply for attention that in the long run means absolutely nothing. This makes me sick!! Thank you for writing about it…people need to know the real story like you presented. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You’re right. The parents seem really narcissistic. I couldn’t put my finger on the terminology until you said it, but they really, really do seem like complete narcissists.


    1. I completely understand your blood boiling from hearing this. I can’t imagine what their other kids are thinking about the fact that their brother is no longer their brother anymore. It’s all just so bizarre and manipulative. All those kids deserve so much better…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. In a video to her son before they abandoned him Myka talked about the hard times they’ve had with him since he was adopted, “Dear [child’s first name], welcome to your forever home…don’t worry, we are not giving up now, we are not giving up on you EVER.” This whole thing is so heartbreaking.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That video you’re speaking of, that video really broke my heart. Every second of that video was made for views and none of it was genuine. It’s so sad.

      All of her videos are still on the Chinese Version of YouTube so even though she’s privated them off her YouTube they’re all still out there. People are finding them and sharing them across the web now. The internet is forever.


  7. Disgusting. Their behavior is absolutely disgusting. These parents should go to prison for child exploitation and abandonment. They clearly used him for fame and profit. I don’t even know what to say right now – this story angers me so much 😡😤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You and me both.
      They’re being investigated right now, ensuring the welfare of all five children is in good standing. That being said, doubt we’ll ever hear what happens with that. Hopefully they fade into obscurity and let their kids live offline. Either that or she’ll pull an Olivia Jade and wait 6 months to a year and then come back and say she can’t talk about what happened but she’s so grateful for her true fans who’ve stuck by her…

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Disgusting and how sad for that little boy and, like you mentioned, her four other children who’ve lost a brother overnight! Sickening and this couple are evil and so glad I haven’t read about them here in the UK.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The BBC did do a piece about them. They’ve definitely made the world-wide stardom Myka long desired for. That being said, I don’t think she was hoping it to be so negative when it happened…

      Liked by 2 people

  9. This is insane. After reading your post, I went to YouTube and watched the Stauffer’s “rehoming” video. I got through barely two minutes of it before I stopped watching. Very disingenuous with their poor acting and lame excuses. What made me more shocked were the comments, which were basically “I miss [son’s name],” but didn’t say anything about how messed up their decision was; I assume the Stauffer’s deleted those comments, which is horrible.

    Besides the fact that family channels don’t interest me, I also agree with you that they’re really problematic, as they exploit their kids for money. It’s the same as constantly posting photos and videos of your kids to Facebook and other social media platforms; they’re uncomfortable to watch, because the child has no say in wanting to be a public figure, and the parents are just using them for “Likes” and popularity. Social media has really changed not only how we document our lives, but also those who are close to us, whether they want to or not.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yeah, they’re absolutely deleting negative comments. They’ve also blocked comments on Twitter and Instagram and on their other Youtube channels so that people don’t go and leave comments there. Pretty sure they just only want to hear ‘I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You’re incredible parents’ from the people who really don’t understand what just went down…

      I totally agree that social media is so different now. People don’t even second guess the digital footprint they’re creating for their children when they post things all over facebook and twitter and instagram. Honestly, in a way, it’s putting their kids at risk. There’s a lot of creepy people on the internet who seek out specific types of content… if you know what I mean. And a kid, like you say, cannot consent to that.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. “It’s the same as constantly posting photos and videos of your kids to Facebook and other social media platforms; they’re uncomfortable to watch”

      Yeah, I agree. Never understood it. From when I first saw it about 10 years ago, I just thought ‘what? really?’. I never even had the temptation to do that with my younger brother, never mind own children. Not only so disrespectful, but exposing them to more risk through exposing them to the world and strangers more than necessary— unfathomable.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Three of my brothers have children and each of them (with their spouse) have decided to not share anything with respect to their children online. I respect that. They announced when they had the baby and shared their first names, but beyond that, nothing has made it to the likes of Facebook or anywhere else.

        I also have friends who had kids circa 2009-2012 who initially started sharing about their kids but have since transitioned into not sharing their kids online because they’ve grown to realize just how much a digital footprint can impact their kids.

        I want to say that I respect a parents right to choose for their own kids, but I get so awkward about seeing so many things that don’t belong on the internet. I don’t like telling someone how to parent their children. But, I also think there’s a difference between being proud of your kid and exploiting your kid and a lot of people don’t seem to see where that line is. This couple DEEEEEEEEEEFINITELY crossed that line 15 million times and had no idea where the line even was.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “But, I also think there’s a difference between being proud of your kid and exploiting your kid and a lot of people don’t seem to see where that line is. ”

        I agree. That line begins where you start to post things relating to your child, or post in a certain way, for the selfish pleasure of receiving likes. And only the person doing the posting can know where it begins, by being honest with themselves.

        And yes of course, further down the line it becomes obvious enough to other people! But the initial line is so blurry it can only be seen through deep introspection.

        And this same thing applies to people exploiting themSELVES— there’s a certain amount that you just can’t see about your behaviour until you’re out of it, especially once you’re addicted to something like facebook. Getting addicted to these things really changes your brain. I admit that this happened to me, I noticed it, quit it and then realised even more just how much I’d changed.

        Of course I’m not generalising to everybody nor getting on a high horse (or trying not to :D)— but it’s a proof of principle which will apply to at least some people.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I have watched docs about people rehoming children. It truly is sickening, to say the least.
    Why hasn’t the authorities done something about this tragic practice? Government needs to make it illegal.
    That boy will suffer all his life because of the actions of idiotic so called “parents”.
    Is child services checking the other four children to see if they are being abused?
    I just feel like crying!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. People are worried that the Chinese government could halt adoptions to the United States because of what these people did. Honestly, there are so many stipulations with so many other countries with respect to adoption, I don’t know how this couple got around it.

      Another YouTuber (Nikki Phillippi) made a big Adoption Series in 2018 about how she was going to adopt from Thailand and then halted her series when the Thai government told her they would not allow her to adopt if she intended to show the child on her YouTube channel. I don’t remember for certain but I think she got denied from other countries as well because governments don’t consent to children being used as ‘pawns’ for social media. When she got denied from adopting from enough countries she eventually just decided she’d have her own biological child and use him for YouTube content.

      The local police to the Stauffer’s have publicly made a statement saying that the Stauffer’s are being investigated (after public outcry from the internet) for the Welfare of the Child they abandoned but as well for the welfare of the children still in their home. The police also said there would be no further comments regarding the family. So, I hope those kids well being is being sincerely looked into. Honestly, I’d hope those kids get some counselling. Losing a sibling like that could not be easy on a child at all…

      Liked by 2 people

  11. This makes me physically sick on many levels. As a Mom, a woman who supported children and adults with wide ranging disabilities and a human being. It sickens me that people could be so selfish, heartless and greedy. I feel sympathetic towards their other children too. Thank you for sharing this story and highlighting the horror this couple perpetuated. I pray this little innocent boy who didn’t ask for any of this has found a loving and understanding home.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think that’s my biggest takeaway from this story. Yes, he was abandoned. Yes, this couple is fucking awful. But, after being fucking awful to him for three years, I am sincerely hoping that he winds up in a home with people who love him and care for him and help him and support him and give him the life he deserves that he never got when he was brought to the United States

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree completely. That would be the only justice for this child. In my opinion, there’s a special place in hell for people who harm animals and children. The most innocent among us. That’s been my focus as of late. T as king a long hard look at how we treat one another which is why I’m even more inclined to love all I come across for we don’t know what anyone is going through at any given time. In these dark times we must lean on love. Love is the only answer my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. Every one of these little kids is going to be impacted for life over this… It’s so hard. So, so hard to hear stuff like this.


  12. Jesus V. What a long post, but worth reading. I couldn’t actually read it all, I skipped a few paragraphs. Was just too much, like an overwhelm of bewilderment.

    I’m not sure how to react to these displays of non-empathy anymore— it’s just like with the Minneapolis cops— they are mentally so distant from me that they may as well be aliens. I’ll never stop being surprised at the different ways in which people can express such lack of empathy, remorse, and selfishness, but it’s hard to know what my reaction should be for each such case.

    They are basically sociopaths, and I know that sociopaths and people like this exist by now, so that part isn’t a surprise. I guess I just hope that the internet and all these extra channels of expression— are just making these kinds of people more obvious than ever before, as opposed to them being on the increase. They probably ARE on the increase to some extent, but I think this level of it is deeply pathological. And such narcissistic sociopaths are the ones who shout the loudest. I’m just trying to remind myself that people like this really are in a minority… I hope!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I’m sorry for the length. I was rage typing as I wrote this one out last night. I had the basis that I wanted to share and then I kept thinking ‘oh add this’ and ‘oh don’t forget to add that’ and it just turned into one long ‘these people suck’ fest.

      I agree with the notion that they’re so far removed they feel like another species. They might as well just be aliens. It’s really hard to understand how people are capable of such things. The sad thing is, people like this might be in a minority, but they’re the ones getting rich off their kids on the internet. YouTube is this watered-down narcissistic, obsessive, clout chasing pool of people who will do anything for a click. I’m talking everything.

      I didn’t include it in this post but Myka also briefly faked a cancer scare and told all of her children, on camera, that she had cancer to see how they would react to the news…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha, yeah could tell it was a rage post :D. And btw I was saying ‘jesus’ at the content rather than length. And I get you about adding stuff, that’s what happens to my comments xD. This is my last one for tonight so you know!

        “The sad thing is, people like this might be in a minority, but they’re the ones getting rich off their kids on the internet.”

        It does require a rather large pool of idiots… and similarly moral-less people, who are very complicit in the whole thing. Now that is also worrying— that’s a lot of people.

        “and told all of her children, on camera, that she had cancer to see how they would react to the news…”

        I’m now in danger of dissociating and becoming emotionally numb! That’s terrifying beyond words.

        My overall response to these things is just to use it as motivation to become even kinder and more generous myself. To display those things and help to influence people around you. You do have a large influence on people, especially when it’s a positive influence. It’s one of those ‘you can only control what you do yourself’ type of things. There can never be enough love in the world 💙.

        Speaking of which, you have a blog where you’re literally influencing tens of thousands of people in a highly positive way. You’re doing a ton of good to make up for these things. I don’t know if that helps you! It’s a core thing I keep coming back to with my own blog motivations.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Btw when I said “It does require a rather large pool of idiots… ” I wasn’t contradicting your comment (which matches my earlier comment you replied to), but just realising/remembering this myself. Just thought for a sec could be read wrong!


  13. How can people be so ruthless. How do you ‘unparent’ a child just like that. What kind of cruelty is this? This is really heart wrecking. I don’t even know what to say😔

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I know how you feel. It seems so callous to traumatized a little boy like that, no less a non-verbal autistic boy who may not have even known why his family just suddenly disappeared…

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Normally, I read your entire posts because I really enjoy your blog. This post, I couldn’t make it all the way through because I was so mad at the situation you wrote about. It’s absolutely disgusting. That couple should lose their ability to have kids or parent. But they won’t because they have white, religious privilege. I’m hoping that with all the protests in the US, that change will finally come and awful people like this are held accountable.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. While I fully believe they don’t deserve the kids they have, I feel like if DCS took their kids away then it would traumatize the remaining four, which they probably really don’t want to do. I bet, though it’ll never be publicly announced, I bet they get a slap on the wrist and maybe, just maybe, get forced to take parenting classes. I also wouldn’t put it past them to try to adopt again…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it seems there are no good solutions to this. Yet another serious flaw in the US system. Like all parents should have some kind of basic accountability. A chance to change and show they can be responsible. Right now? Basically no accountability unless the living situation is so bad that it wouldn’t be good for anyone to live at that home. But, that’s the US attitude to everything. Don’t do anything until it’s already a disaster, even if its preventable.

        Bad parenting, or abandoning an adopted child is far too harmful for everyone long term. All it takes is one parent that doesn’t have their shit together to cause harm. I have to thank you for following this, and writing about it. It’s hard to stomach like all the horrible things happening in the world recently, but must be talked about.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Sadly the private adoption world is a business, and just like healthcare it’s about who has the most money. We went through both the private International and domestic processes for several years and were dumbfounded at the whole highest bidder mentality of agencies, and these were ones who claimed they were not religious based. That being said the domestic agency it turned out we’re completely religious zealots and right wing bigots who were soaking adoptive parents for as much as they could get (even if birth mothers did not ask for any money), as well as doing everything they can to make the adoption go by quicker without contacting birth fathers. We are actually adopting through the foster care system as we were so sickened by the international and domestic adoption agency environments that we’re absolutely not nonprofits as they claimed. I’m glad that International adoption has become much more difficult but it’s definitely still out there to the highest bidder, but domestic adoption is still a huge problem that gets almost zero attention. I filed reports with the attorney general’s office of both stares for the agency who told our birth mother last summer to “leave the birth father’s name off the birth certificate” when she admitted she knew who he was but no one contacted him to give him the opportunity to parent his child, and when we spoke up about this and the other things that were going on when this beautiful boy was born, they literally told her that she should find a different set of adoptive parents to take the child we had been caring for then tried to blacklist us with other adoption agencies in our state. Fortunately the agency handling our foster care adoption saw through their behavior and have supported us as we go through this adoption, but I can’t imagine what is happening to other couples who speak up when this type of Injustice is happening. I know a lot of people will be silent because they are so desperate to have children because they have battled infertility like my husband and I have for years, but as far as things went for us we couldn’t take a child from a birth father who never even knew he existed.

      Protests are helping here in the US but it takes more than protests in every country to change systemic racism (which is not a uniquely US problem…I see many countries trying to tell us what we should do as if it doesn’t happen in their own country and it’s mind-blowing… My husband is Australian and we get talked to Dan to all the time about the problem with our country even though racism is the same if not worse down there). Laws need to be changed that ensure accountability across the board. There are no adoption laws that protect adoptive parents from predatory agencies, and there are very few laws that protect birth parents against them either. Plus they are different from state to state. some states you can essentially take the child home the next day or a couple of days later and others you have to wait a month. And there are zero things being done to help pregnant women who want to parent but can’t simply because of finances. The birth mother we planned to adopt from had an undisclosed meth problem and a daughter at home and financially couldn’t afford to keep this child. I could tell from talking to her that she didn’t want to but had no other choice, but she was clearly so young and so malleable that she did whatever the agency told her to do. She told me personally that she didn’t want any money yet the agency told me I needed to give them $3,500 to cover her expenses of which they had no documentation for (this is after paying them over $35,000).

      just like Ricki Lake had the documentary called ‘The business of being born’, I’ve always had there needs to be a similar one called ‘The business of being adopted’.

      Going through these experiences made us absolutely against the private adoption industry which claims they are not selling babies but yes, they absolutely are. It may be taking 6 months to adopt our girls from foster care but we know that the caseworker team have done their due diligence with every possible family member and we have advocates for them every step of the way. And no matter how much pain my husband and I have been through, it’s not about us.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I wish I knew what the answer was to create positive change around the world. I’m not sure it’s a documentary, because honestly I can’t watch the super realistic, depressing documentaries any more because it feels like everything in the world is screwed up, and it hasn’t been changing. I barely watch the news anymore because its like an onslaught of awful events meant to keep you in PTSD just so you keep watching. Maybe a great story can finally convince people.

        John Stewart (former Daily Show host) has this quote I can’t find atm, that he said about humanity after 9/11 happened. Something like “Don’t focus on the people running away from the falling buildings. Focus on the people running towards the disaster going to save the people trapped.”

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Being a woman adopting from the foster care system, unfortunately there are a ton of these stories out there of people who adopted from other countries in similar types of situations and ultimately had these children taken from them because of monstrous abuse. And 99.9% of the time they are part of those hyper-religious “God told me I should adopt” zealots who write all kinds of fake stories about their family in order to get media and online attention. This is one story in Washington about a couple who did just that and this article was published shortly before several of her children were taken by social service for neglect, zero education and extreme abuse. The story about the two boys is particularly offensive as when you find her blog that she didn’t bother to take offline, they didn’t go through an adoption agency to get them but rather through her sister who was a missionary in Africa and knew someone who knew someone, and acted like they were complete saviors which is just repulsive. Thank goodness they have both been adopted out into normal good homes (we had met one of them and adored him but he had ended up being adopted by a friend which was great) but the trauma is lifelong and these individuals we’re forced to flee the country back to Canada because of their actions or face imprisonment and the rest of their children being taken from them. I remember talking to another case worker about the situation and she said it’s so common you wouldn’t believe it, and a month later I met another girl who was adopted from Haiti and similar results. if this has happened to just me in the last 6 months I can’t imagine how many cases social services are dealing with the people I call “adoption hoarders”. Thank you for bringing this up as you have a pretty big audience it looks like and here’s the article I was referencing where they got an award for their bullsh*t.

    Liked by 4 people

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