IRIS Media Offers Expert Training to the Parents of 1.5 Million Adopted Children

Posted by IRIS Web Apps on

Published: 2009-02-13

Eugene, OR  How does an adoptive parent respond when their child asks, “Will I ever meet my birth mom?” Or more importantly, where would one learn the skills to respond confidently to a question like that? Many adoptive parents read books or attend classes to learn the skills necessary to discuss difficult topics, and now there is a video and internet resource available for them as well. IRIS Media, Inc. has just released its newest research-based media program, Adoptive Parent Training: Developing Communication Skills which incorporates video and additional online features such as interactive exercises, printable materials, journal questions and knowledge checks. Designed specifically for the parents of the estimated 1.5 million adopted children in the U.S., this program was the brainchild of an adult adoptee and an adoptive parent.

“My wife and I found we were sometimes unprepared for questions from our children, or comments from people in the community, about the conspicuous nature of our family. We are white; they are black. Whether it was the things other kids said at school or the comments from people in the grocery store, I kept asking myself, ‘What am I supposed to say? How should I say it?’” said Adam Wendt of IRIS Media, adoptive father of three and co-author of the program.

IRIS Media teamed up with Portland-based Adoption Mosaic to develop, produce and test the program with funding from the National Institutes of Health. The program features real-life scenarios between adoptive parents and their children. In an effort to make the resources available to busy parents and those living in rural areas, the program was designed for delivery over the internet as well as on DVD. As part of the project, thirty adoptive parents participated in a pre/post evaluation of the program’s effectiveness with respect to parent’s knowledge and self-efficacy in communicating about adoption-related issues within the family system.

“In 16 years as an adoption trainer and educator, I have seen a huge shift from ‘let’s not talk about adoption’ to ‘we owe it to our children to let them know who they are and therefore must talk about adoption,’” said Astrid Dabbeni, co-author of the program, Executive Director of Adoption Mosaic and an adult adoptee. “For many adoptive parents, becoming comfortable and confident with talking about adoption takes practice, and yet there are very few resources that support building these skills. This program is a tool which helps parents approach the topic of adoption with their children while feeling confident and secure.”

Chris Reynolds, mother of Dabbeni, shared this view of the program, “As a mother of two grown adopted daughters from Colombia, South America, I viewed this program wishing it had been available for us parents 37 years ago! It’s never too late; I learned so much from watching this program.”

Adoptive Parent Training: Developing Communication Skills includes a 27-minute DVD in a hard case and access to online features. It retails for ... $39.00.The full program may also be purchased in an online format ... available at

About IRIS Media

IRIS Media, Inc. is a leader in the field of educational media, providing resources for educators, parents and people with disabilities.Based in Eugene, OR, they are one of the few companies who develop, produce, evaluate and market their own programs and have received numerous national awards for their efforts.IRIS Media’s programs are available at ...

About Adoption Mosaic

Adoption Mosaic, a non-profit organization providing education and support to all adoption constellation members with education being the focus not placement. While the practice of adoption has evolved over generations, the needs of the entire adoption community have gone largely unrecognized. Adoption Mosaic’s innovative vision and offerings are designed to address the unique needs of the adoption community, and to create a healthy, positive experience for everyone involved. For a full list of our workshops and services visit

For additional information ..., contact:


IRIS Media, Inc.

Phone: 541.343.4747




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