A stepfamily forms when one or both adults in a new couple bring children from a previous relationship. Although stepfamilies look like first-time families on the outside, they are very different on the inside. The first step toward making a successful stepfamily is understanding the differences between stepfamilies and first-time families. The previous marriage may have ended in divorce or in death. The original parent may be a never-married single parent or an adoptive parent. The new couple may be gay or straight.