Nila McGinnis


In May 2020, American social media influencer Myka Stauffer, who boasted almost one million followers across various internet platforms at the peak of her career, announced that she and her husband were “rehoming” their autistic son, Huxley, whom they adopted from China three years prior. Over the course of their journey to adopt Huxley, the Stauffers monetized dozens of posts and videos across several channels and accounts on YouTube and Instagram, prominently featuring Huxley in advertisements for brands like Dreft, Danimals, and Playtex Baby. The Stauffers, who were also accused of duct taping Huxley’s hands to stop him from sucking his thumb, were investigated and subsequently cleared from these and other abuse allegations after Huxley was placed in a new home through the help of his adoption agency. What will young Huxley see of the estimated tens of thousands of dollars his parents earned from his appearances in online videos and posts featuring personal information about his mental and physical disabilities, therapy, and progress before being placed into another home? According to California Law, he is not entitled to a single dime. Neither are any of the Stauffer’s four biological children, nor any other social media star earning money online who happens to be a minor.

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