Myka and James Stauffer Made 'Difficult Decision' in Order to Give Son 'Best Treatment': Lawyers
"Over time, the team of medical professionals advised our clients it might be best for Huxley to be placed with another family," the couple's lawyers tell PEOPLE exclusively
Myka Stauffer's lawyers are speaking out after her decision to rehome her son was met with backlash.
Myka, 32, revealed in a YouTube video on Wednesday that she and her husband James have placed their 4½-year-old son Huxley, whom they adopted from China in October 2017 and was later diagnosed with autism, with a new family.
The couple's lawyers tell PEOPLE that the decision was an incredibly difficult one and was made "to provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care."
"We are privy to this case and given the facts at hand, we feel this was the best decision for Huxley," Myka and James' lawyers, Thomas Taneff and Taylor Sayers, tell PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. "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."
"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," Taneff and Sayers continue. "Over time, the team of medical professionals advised our clients it might be best for Huxley to be placed with another family."
"This is devastating news for any parent. Our clients 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 were forced to make a difficult decision, but it is in fact, the right and loving thing to do for this child."
"We have advised our clients not to say anything further at this time, but it is likely they will share more when the time is appropriate for them and all involved," the attorneys' statement says. "We should be clear that Huxley is a 4-year-old child whose privacy should be fully respected. We know our clients would ask for your prayers and support and to respect their privacy with what has been the most difficult decision of their lives."
On Wednesday, Myka and James shared their decision to find a new family for Huxley in an emotional video on YouTube.
"Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren't aware of, and that we were not told," James said in the video, in which the couple explained that Huxley was living with a "new mommy" who has medical training.
"For us, it's been really hard hearing from the medical professionals, a lot of their feedback, and things that have been upsetting," he continued. "We've never wanted to be in this position. And we've been trying to get his needs met and help him out as much as possible ... we truly love him."
"There's not an ounce of our body that doesn't love Huxley with all of our being," Myka tearfully added. "There wasn't a minute that I didn't try our hardest and I think what Jim is trying to say is that after multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that his medical needs, he needed more."
"Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500 percent," Myka admitted. "The last couple months have been like the hardest thing I could have ever imagined ... after pouring our guts and our heart into this little boy."
Myka said that Huxley is currently "thriving" and "happy" with his new family, who are "a very good fit."
The video garnered backlash, with viewers commenting on Twitter and elsewhere online that they will no longer be watching the Stauffers' content.
"Okay but this myka stauffer stuff makes me really sad bc I've watched her since before she adopted Huxley and when I watched the video it made absolutely NO sense?" said a viewer on Twitter. "Your child was too hard to handle? So you ... gave him back? Like ... a gift receipt. That poor sweet thing."
"Giving away one of my children isn't a viable option for me, though," added another Twitter user. "Surely there are better methods of managing the obligations you willingly accepted. Frankly, I'm not interested in any kind of advice from anyone who would do this."
Meanwhile others offered words of support to the family.
"Before we attack this woman we don't know what the child needs were at home," one woman wrote on Facebook. "Some of these children that come from orphanages from overseas have severe behavioral issues. He could've been hurting her children doing stuff that we just don't know about. Sometimes that may mean putting him in an environment that is safe for him and safe for others. The child will thrive in a place better suited for him."
"It's not only because he has autism," another said on a separate Facebook post. " 'Once Huxley came home, there was a lot more special needs that we weren't aware of, and that we were not told,' It says. I do not know about his medical conditions and its theirs to keep it private if they want for The sake of his privacy."
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