STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Swedish legislators voted Wednesday to let same-sex couples adopt children -- a decision that gay activists hailed as a step toward gaining the full benefits of marriage.
Under the bill, gays registered in a legal partnership, allowed in Sweden since 1995, can be considered joint adoptive parents of children adopted in the country or abroad. One of the partners also will be able to adopt the child of another.
The measures, approved after several hours of heated debate in parliament, make the nation of about 9 million people one of the few countries to give homosexuals the right to enter legal partnerships and adopt children.
Even rarer was the inclusion of adoptions of children abroad, although it could have little practical effect since most countries forbid adoption by homosexuals.