Mapping Adoption

Mapping Adoption

The Idea

Adoption Museum Project has begun a project to map the adoption ecosystem.

To us ‘ecosystem’ means the entities involved in adoption in the U.S. – institutions, organizations, initiatives, communities and people — as well as the forces that act on them such as race and socioeconomic power. This map will be a visual picture of these entities and forces, as well as the ways in which they are related to each other.

This map will be an essential planning tool. Ultimately, the museum we seek to create will affect positive social change. The map will help us identify where our museum should be placed within the adoption ecosystem, and how it might link to other entities, so that we can have maximum impact.

We looked for a map like this but couldn’t find one. Given that, and the tremendous learning that comes from going through an exercise like this, we set out to create one on our own.If you know of an existing map or anyone who is working on something similar, please let us know:

Our First Map

On February 21st, we organized a work session in collaboration with The Real Family Project to take a first stab at creating a map. A group of seven brilliant, creative people gathered. They represented birth parent, adoptee and adoptive parent identities as well as a range of professional experience in the adoption field. Rachel Smith, a senior consultant at The Grove, facilitated the session and produced a map reflecting our progress that day.

Next Steps

We are looking for people and other resources to help us build on the initial map we created on February 21st. Ultimately, we envision an online, interactive map. This would allow us to evolve the map as we learn and work with others, easily play with different scenarios, and share and collaborate with others who might find a map like this useful.

Want to Help?

If you know of a map like this that already exists, if you would like to help us create a map, or just want to track our progress – please get in touch with us: We would love to hear from you.

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