The lower house of Uruguay’s Congress on Thursday passed a bill to allow same-sex couples to adopt children, paving the way for the country to become the first in Latin America to provide such rights.
The bill, approved by a 40-13 vote, must be approved by the Senate. Because the ruling Frente Amplio party holds a majority, the bill’s passage is almost assured in the Senate, which must vote before September 15.
The adoption measure would be the most recent in a series of progressive laws passed with the backing of President Tabare Vazquez.
Last year, lawmakers approved a measure allowing children aged 12 or older to change their names, a measure aimed at transgender or transsexual youths. Uruguay also authorized same-sex civil unions last year, setting the stage for the current adoption law.