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"Rehomed" For What?


So, it may be strange for a childfree sistah like myself to write about the personal business of a mother who I do not know.  This story just blew me away so I figured I would write out my thoughts.  I recently learned about Myka Stauffer, a social media influencer, from Ohio, who recently “rehomed” her Asian, special needs son, Huxley.   She adopted him 3 years ago. If you are not familiar with the story, you can certainly learn all about Myka online.  She is being drug all over social media for “giving up on her son.”  Many people take issue with Myka because people tend to believe you “rehome a pet” and not a child.  

So I will keep it 100.  I never heard of Myka Stauffer until this “breaking news.”  A white woman, married, with children of her own, decides to adopt internationally, an Asian, autistic, son. Myka and her husband released a statement that her son, Huxley, was now too much to handle and that he was better off living with a new family. This comes AFTER blogging about him for 3 years or so, gaining over 700,000 followers on social media, AND getting sponsorship from major brands that increased their net worth. Since the breaking news, Myka and her husband have lost followers and sponsors. Of course, she also has fans who support her decision. I am baffled at how some people can be cool with a young child being “rehomed”, but question the fulfillment of my life because I have no children at 49 years-old. 

As a childfree advocate, supporting African American women who are 30 years old+, childfree by choice or for other reasons, this story is hard for me to comprehend.  Race and socio-economic privilege has its privileges.  I never knew that a family could “hand select” a new adoptive family for a child they no longer want.  I would love to hear in detail why a team of “medical professionals” thought it was in the best interest of a young child in their formative years, to be “rehomed” after three years of being with the  only family he has ever known.  I cannot see any child or family therapist supporting this decision.

It appears that every trace of her adopted son has been removed from her social media feed.  I wonder how this “rehoming” was explained to her biological children?  Why do I even care?  It takes WORK – the good, the bad and the ugly, to raise children (so I have heard and witnessed for myself).  Some women think long and hard about having a child, especially if one is considering an advanced maternal pregnancy (women over 35 years old).   My nephew, although not autistic, had some MAJOR behavioral problems as a young child.  My sister got calls frequently from the school and was frustrated with his behavior many days and nights. I never once experienced her as wanting to give up on him and “rehome” him with another family member. If anything, she learned him, loved him, and went to family counseling with him. 

Culturally, Myka’s story has the feel of the White Savior complex.  There continues to be an increase of White families adopting African and Asian children from out of the country. Hear me when I say, children deserve to be loved!!!  Therefore, I support adoption.  I just hope this mind set does not catch on like wildfire in which children of color are “returned to sender” for not being the perfect child. Wow!  What if every adopted child that caused hell in the home as a toddler, pre-teen or teen was just “rehomed” after medical professionals deemed they were just too much? 

Society pushes out this construct that ALL women are maternal and that a uterus equals birthing a child.  I know some women who would give absolutely anything and everything to have a child. They certainly would have loved this little boy until the end of time.  I also want to acknowledge that I have absolutely no clue of what it truly means to raise an autistic child, or any child for that matter.  I'll own that. 

Honestly, I thought when you adopt a child, especially an infant, that the child is yours for life.  That there are no givebacks. Did I miss something? Listen, I just hope and pray that this little boy is loved from now to eternity!  That he has no recollection of the profitable videos made about him during his early years of life.  In addition, I hope there is a family lawyer out there that can guarantee Huxley will receive some kind of compensation.  

You DO NOT have to have children to know that children should never be treated this way – just given back, given up on, and “rehomed”.  My opinion is one of many about this family and this little boy.  No one will ever know the story in its entirety; however, what I do know is that I am childfree and my heart feels for this child.  My common sense and my truth tells me that "rehoming a child" is just never a good move.  I speak from compasssion and concern about this little's boy life.  God bless Huxley, wherever he is.

*Have you heard about this story?  Please share your thoughts and write a comment below.  Don't forget to share this blog post!  You can follow me on my Instagram page @nobibsburpsbottles or my Face Book page at facebook.com/DrAngelaLHarris. 



Comments

Kellea Tibbs said…
Great blog post. First and foremost, I am an adopted child and have had a wonderful life, my parents gave me everything and I do believe that if you want children and are able to adopt, especially American children who need homes, please do.

Secondly, what is rehomed but yet another word privileged white people have come up with to justify their bad behavior. Just like Time Out back in the day. Black parents were like, what is a time out? Discipline your child so they know not to do it again and keep it moving. Rehoming was just another excuse for this couple (because I assume her husband had a say so in this decision too), to give up in the middle of the game and return a child like a dress at the department store. And where are the Autism Awareness folks? Have they taken her to task in this or did they give her a pass? We saw Michael Vick be met with more disdain for fighting dogs and he did jail time. Children are not like a puppy kennel or the Goodwill store. You can't just go shopping for one and not be responsible for the consequences when you are fed up.

Thirdly, the only reason you should ever be able to give up a kid is 1) if they are threatening to hurt or harm you or themselves, I think that's basic mental health 101 right? 2) if you are a new mother or going through postpartum depression and you feel like you want to harm your kids or yourself, them drop them off at a fire stator somewhere designated as a Safe Place, with no consequences. Too many times, women have opted to kill when there are alternatives.

And lastly, as a child free woman, who at one point wanted kids but often think to myself, did I really want to be a mother or did I just want to live out the white picket fence fairytale that said I needed to be a mother? Either way, over the years I've realized my limitations, and given my life and some of the decisions I've made, I'm so very glad I'm not a mother nor do I have another human being to be responsible for. I truly believe that ALL women need to take an assessment of themselves and juxtapose their desire to be a mother against their capability of being a mother. In the essence of Johnny Cochran, if it doesn't fit, you're not equipped! (I tried lol). But really, not everyone needs to be nor should they be a mother to their own birthed children nor to an adopted child, if you're not going to devote 100% until their 18 years old, which is the only age you're obligated, anything above and beyond that is icing on the cake for that child and I'm so glad my parents did that for me
Anonymous said…
I agree with your words.
While the full story and behind the scenes is never something we are privy to,
I call into question those who allowed for this adoption to happen in the first place.
I’m no behavioural scientist, but a special needs child going to a home that is persistently
Vlogging their every move doesn’t seem healthy.
Even for a well adjusted child, that could be overwhelming.

I do hope that poor boy has found the loving family he deserves!

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