When a gay or a lesbian couple decides to adopt a baby and start their own family, they face a long legal procedure. Legislation of adoption for same-sex couples is even more complicated than for heterosexual couples. Across the US, every state has its own legal requirements and some states forbid adoption for same-sex couples.
Except for adoption from foster families, orphanages, and international adoption, gays and lesbians also can adopt children born to their couple. Lesbian couples visit a sperm bank for this purpose and gay couples search for a surrogate mother. Only one of the partners can take part in the conception, and the other one can become a legal second parent.
Depending on the state, same-sex couples may either jointly adopt a child or one of the partners can legally adopt the child of the other partner through stepparent adoption or domestic partner adoption. In states which legalized same-sex marriages, the couple becomes legal parents from the moment of childbirth. The other states need a couple to stay in a civil union or domestic relationships to acknowledge them as legal parents.
From the ethical side, adoption made by same-sex couples is a complicated issue as well. The family is not only social institute but a biological unit at the same time. Children raised by two mothers or two fathers may lack parenting styles and approach immanent to the parents of the opposite sex. As children grow up, their peers will find it embarrassing to be raised in a homosexual family. Probably, adopted children will be especially prone to bullying.