The Biggest Bombshells from “An Update on Our Family”, the Shocking New Docuseries About Myka and James Stauffer

The three-part exposé looks back on the YouTube-famous family after they sought adoption dissolution for their son, Huxley

<p>Myka Stauffer/Instagram</p> Myka and James Stauffer with their children

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer with their children

In An Update on Our Family, Vox Media Studios revisits the viral adoption dissolution scandal that pushed Myka and James Stauffer's family channel offline.

The three-part docuseries — which was inspired by New York Magazine's 2020 feature on the family — includes old videos shared by the couple before they announced their decision to re-home their adopted son, Huxley, and wiped all of their content off of YouTube 2020.

The Stauffers adopted Huxley, who was later diagnosed with autism, from China when he was 2½ and sought adoption dissolution two years later, claiming they were unaware of the extent of his disabilities. At the time, the couple's lawyers told PEOPLE about their ultimate hope to "provide Huxley with the best possible treatment and care." (Huxley has since been renamed by his new family.)

"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, told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement issued in May 2020. "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."

The Stauffers, as well as Huxley's new family, have not responded to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

Myka Stauffer said Huxley was 'not returnable' before she adopted him from China

In one of the since-deleted clips resurfaced in the docuseries, the former nurse told her viewers that she and her husband were well-equipped and willing to learn how to parent a child with special needs.

"We started talking to physicians, we started having meetings, we started doing tons of different things so that we could be really well educated on different conditions," Myka told the camera in one of several videos discussing the adoption process. "Let’s just say there’s 100 conditions. Me and my husband were comfortable with 99 of the conditions. So we were very, very open."

She also stated, “I don’t know what his medical diagnosis is gonna look like. How much schooling will he need? Will he need a little bit more hands on? Will he be delayed? But if anything, my child is not returnable.”

<p>Myka Stauffer/Instagram</p> Myka and James Stauffer

Myka Stauffer/Instagram

Myka and James Stauffer

Related: YouTuber Myka Stauffer Said Her Child Was 'Not Returnable' Before Viral Adoption Dissolution Scandal

Myka Stauffer featured Huxley in a paid advertisement for Dreft laundry detergent

Another vlog snippet sees Myka discussing how she used Dreft laundry detergent to "bond with" Huxley.

"Dreft baby detergent has this scent just like a newborn’s, so when I’m cuddling a 3-year-old baby boy, I can still feel like I’m snuggling that brand new baby, and I get that baby scent that I never got from my son," the Ohio mom said over footage of her playing with the toddler in a video titled, "5 Things I Didn’t EXPECT About Our China ADOPTION!"

Related: How Myka Stauffer Used Dreft Laundry Detergent to 'Bond' with Her Adopted Son — and Then Got Paid for It

James Stauffer broke down on camera after 'rough' first time meeting Huxley in China

The dad — who still updates his car maintenance YouTube channel Stauffer Garage — shared his real emotions on camera when he and Myka traveled to China to meet their new son.

"I’m not gonna lie. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. It’s been rough for us," he said in a video titled "Huxley’s First Smile After China Adoption!"

The Ohio dad went on to describe the tight bond the toddler shared with his foster mother before his adoption.

"They gave us all these pictures, all these clothes. They took him to the beach. They took him to see dolphins. They took him to the park every day," he said, adding, "I mean, the kid had a full-blown mom, it seems like."

In the background of the recording, Myka seemed to say Huxley wanted to get into his crib. She cut herself off to check in on her husband, and James became choked up. Tearfully, he responded, "The poor kid."

<p>Myke Stauffer/Instagram</p> Myka Stauffer with her newborn baby wearing her Cartier bracelet

Myke Stauffer/Instagram

Myka Stauffer with her newborn baby wearing her Cartier bracelet

Related: Who Is Myka Stauffer? All About YouTuber Who Placed Son with New Family 2 Years After Adoption

Myka Stauffer wore a $6K Cartier bracelet in her video about cutting Huxley's speech therapy costs to $70

In another highly criticized clip shown in the docuseries, Myka spoke to the camera about her plans to downgrade her adopted son Huxley's treatment due to high medical fees.

"We're gonna go to a different speech therapist, not the one that's $500 a month. But we're gonna go to the one that's like $70 for 30 minutes," the Ohio influencer said in her vlog.

"Not $500 for 30 minutes. No, no, no," Myka added in the same video, showing her hand in view of the camera. On her wrist, she sported a 18-karat gold Cartier Love bracelet, which cost over $6,000 in 2018. The bangle currently retails for $7,350, according to the luxury brand's website as of June 2024,

Related: Kate Hudson Confirms YouTube Mom Who Dissolved Adoption Was 'Terminated' by Fabletics

Viewers spotted one key clue in the Stauffers' vlogs that confirmed suspicions that Huxley was gone

Dedicated viewers launched their own investigation in 2020, when Myka and James suddenly stopped featuring their son in vlogs over two years after adopting him from China. Fans found a reason to believe the couple was hiding something about then-4-year-old Huxley in a Stauffer Garage video from April 2020, which featured footage from inside the family's car.

Eagle-eyed followers were quick to observe that Huxley's carseat was missing from the backseat, which fanned flames already lit by the fact that the parents were deleting comments that mentioned Huxley's absence. Their suspicions were further heightened when Myka and James changed their videos with the toddler from public to private.

<p>Vox Media Studios</p> 'An Update on Our Family' docuseries

Vox Media Studios

'An Update on Our Family' docuseries

Related: Myka and James Stauffer Made 'Difficult Decision' in Order to Give Son 'Best Treatment': Lawyers

Myka and James Stauffer deleted footage showing Huxley with a duct-taped hand

In December 2017, the Stauffers shared a video about Huxley's food anxiety after they brought him home from China two months earlier. Myka promptly deleted and re-uploaded the vlog, but the "new" version was about 20 seconds shorter than the original post.

Suspicious viewers took it upon themselves to investigate what was cut from the revised video, and many were alarmed to discover footage of Huxley's thumb wrapped in duct tape. This seemed to be a preventative measure taken to stop the adoptee from sucking his thumb, and other YouTubers voiced their opinions over Huxley's apparent treatment.

Several conspiracy theories circulated on social media, and people even called in complaints to the couple's local sheriff's office.

Myka and James also faced backlash for other videos showing Huxley wearing a regular thumb guard. Viewers questioned the Stauffers' means of breaking Huxley's thumb-sucking habit, but Myka and James were quick to address concerns about the non-makeshift thumb guard in her vlogs.

"We were actually told by our dentist that it was highly recommended or he would need an unnecessary surgery because he's changing the palate of his mouth," Myka explained in one since-deleted video included in the three-part docuseries.

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