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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 11:11 GMT
Belgium backs gay adoption plans
Belgian parliament votes on homosexual adoption
Supporters of the bill were at parliament for the vote
Belgian MPs have backed plans to allow adoption by gay couples, two years after legalising same-sex marriage.

The lower house of Belgium's parliament voted 77-62 in favour of the measure, which must also pass the upper house.

If fully approved, Belgium will become the third EU country, after Sweden and Spain, to allow same-sex adoption.

Belgium campaigners say that many children are currently cared for by homosexual couples, but without adequate legal protection.

The law will grant gay couples in Belgium the same rights as heterosexual couples, allowing them to adopt children from anywhere in the world.

In Germany and Denmark, homosexual adoption is limited to the partners' biological children.

Final approval by the upper house, or Senate, is expected in March.

Two years ago, Belgium voted to approve same-sex marriage, with an estimated 5,000 ceremonies held since then.

A string of other European countries also allow gay marriage or full civil rights, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and other Scandinavian nations.

Britain will legalise "civil partnerships" this month.

Gay marriage around the globe
30 Jun 05 |  Americas

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