Gay marriage is now legal throughout the United States, and many couples decide to create a family on their own through adoption. It is important to do plenty of research and find a good adoption professional to guide you when it comes to any adoption. Meeting new people who have been through an adoption process is also a good way to learn some essential information and to form a supporting network. Use some of these LGBT adoption quick tips to prepare your own adoption to-do list.

1. Ask yourself once more whether you are ready to become a parent. This is an important first step, and before you even start the adoption process, you need to be sure it is exactly what you want.

2. Become familiar with your state’s adoption laws. Certain states still have specific restrictions when it comes to LGBT adoption. Joint adoptions are legal in all states where gay marriages are legal, and some states allow only one member of the couple to adopt, so explore your options. Speak with an attorney about the laws in your state since they change frequently.

3. Selecting the adoption professional you'll be working with is one of the most important parts of the adoption process. An LGBT-friendly agency is going to help you navigate the laws and complete your adoption. Be sure to thoroughly research agencies and adoption professionals before committing. Browse their websites carefully, read reviews, and try asking other LGBT adoptive parents for recommendations.

4. Before making a final decision on the adoption professional you'll be working with, prepare some questions to ask them to determine whether they are going to be a good choice for you. Ask about their LGBT adoption statistics, how they handle the adoption laws in your state, and how they present LGBT families to birthmothers.

5. Be prepared for your adoption home study. This usually includes substantial interview questions, personal and family background checks, financial evaluations, criminal record checks, medical record check, and more. The process of a home study usually takes three to six months to complete, so it's important to be patient.

6. Always be open and honest. This is especially crucial during interviews with your adoption professional, during the home study process, and when communicating with birthmothers.

7. The process of finding a match can take months, or even years. Always take your time before you agree to move forward with a match. Take your time to get to know the birthmother and ask your adoption professional questions about her background. Arrange a meeting, video chat, or phone call with her to make sure you are both comfortable with the match before finalizing the adoption process.

8. Once you are matched with a birthmother, you will need to create a plan depending on the adoption type agreed upon. Discuss everything from how you want to communicate to who will be in the hospital room during delivery. If you talk about these things before the adoption finalization, it is less likely that you will experience unpleasant surprises later on.

9. Finalize the adoption and work with an attorney to file the paperwork you need for this final step. After the paperwork filing, one last step is the court hearing where the judge is going to decide whether to legally recognize your adoption.