Adoption is an intensive process for parents. Adoption agencies want to ensure that a prospective parent meets certain requirements, which ensures that children are placed into loving and supportive homes. While these requirements tend to vary based on the type of adoption and the agency you're working with, there are general rules that apply in most cases.
Many people wonder whether they need to be married in order to bring a child into the home. The fact is that many agencies prefer that children are accepted into a home with two parents in a loving, committed marriage. Additionally, some agencies specify a certain duration that a couple must have been married, which can range from two to three years. It is possible to gain an exception in some cases, but ultimately you'll be beholden to any state laws.
A criminal background can also be concerning. Most adoptions agencies are willing to work with people who have past transgressions on their records, provided that the transgressions didn't involve crimes against children. It's important that you're completely forthcoming about your background when undergoing a home study. Social workers are more than willing to discuss these issues with applicants to understand what occurred and how the person has evolved since the crime was committed.
Lastly, LGBTQ couples that meet all other requirements are in no way prohibited from adopting. From a legal and ethical perspective, sexuality has no bearing on a person's ability to be a loving and stable parent. Unfortunately, some agencies do attempt to discriminate against such couples. In this case, legal representation is recommended to ensure the rights of the couple in question are upheld.