New York's legalizing gay marriage could encourage same-sex couples to adopt, experts told The Associated Press.

Same-sex couples were already legally able to adopt in New York before the new law passed, but couples could be more willing to start families once they are married. While getting divorced is the last thing prospective parents are thinking about, the new law does provide guidelines for how couples would split up things like child support and custody.

It's sort of the next natural progression, said Jonathan Truong of Brooklyn, who decided to adopt a boy after marrying his longtime partner in Canada. You have that feeling of wanting to be in a family.

The number of gay couples adopting in Vermont nearly doubled in the nine years after the state began sanctioning civil unions.

There are also a few caveats. An exemption for religious groups contained in the new law raises the possibility of religiously affiliated adoption agencies barring same-sex couples from adopting, but that experts say that is unlikely. And same-sex couples still could face discrimination that makes them wary.

If you want to be able to answer honestly in paperwork, multiple interviews and background checks, then you won't want to get married, Lambda Legal marriage project director Camilla Taylor told The New York Times.