Why a Museum

There are many ways to explore adoption. Books, films, and blogs are increasingly available. Adoption agencies, lawyers and therapists are a phone call away. Friends and neighbors have important stories to share. Why a museum?

Museums have unique and powerful qualities that are uniquely suited for exploring adoption:

In physical space, people can engage with the complex and abstract idea of adoption in a concrete and embodied way. This creates new possibilities for witnessing, learning, reflection, dialogue and creativity.

Private + Public
Adoption is a personal experience that is profoundly shaped by the public (e.g. laws, economics, popular culture, friends and neighbors. Museums create space where both private and public can co-exist.

A free, public museum about adoption convenes an extraordinary diversity of people. They may be family or strangers, engage in conversation or hold silence. Simply occupying the same space can be the beginning of inquiry.

Diverse and changing content, from objects to visual art to hands-on programs and dialogues, invites people to access adoption in a way that works for their interests, knowledge and learning style.

Museums can combine a beautiful physical environment filled with diverse people and all forms of human expression, together with an invitation to wonder, imagine, and feel.

A museum empowers people to determine their own experience, both educational and social/emotional, which is particularly important for people who live adoption.

While the role and practice of museums have changed over time, this special kind of place still conveys the message: what lies inside this building matters.

Taken together, these qualities help us explore adoption in a completely new way: a critical, creative and collective inquiry.

A Permanent Building

Building a permanent museum dedicated to adoption is part of our long-term vision. This kind of space supports ongoing public access to a topic that is ongoing and ever evolving. It also enables the development and stewardship of a comprehensive physical archive and collection of objects related to the whole story of adoption, which has never existed.

We imagine a beautiful, multi-use space. These are some ideas we’ve had for what’s inside it:

  • Areas for quiet reflection
  • Informal gathering spaces: library, garden, etc.
  • Changing content: exhibitions, programs, etc.
  • Permanent content: history, adoption map, etc.
  • Archive
  • Collection of objects
  • Café/restaurant
  • Community work spaces
  • Residency spaces: artist, scholar, professional, etc.
  • Resource and Action center

What can you imagine?