Same-sex couples in Uruguay will be able to adopt children following the approval of a controversial bill by the country's senate.
The move means Uruguay becomes the first Latin American country to allow gay couples the chance to adopt.
Some 17 of 23 senators voted in favour of the new legislation.
The change - opposed by the Catholic Church - is the latest in a series of liberalising
measures supported by left-wing President Tabare Vazquez.
The archbishop of Montevideo, Nicolas Cotugno, said before the vote that it would be a "serious error to accept the adoption of children by homosexual couples".
"It's not about religion, philosophy or sociology. It's something which is mainly about
the respect of human nature itself," he said in a statement.
Under the new law, the power to make decisions on adoptions shifts from judges to the
national Institute of Children and Adolescents.
Last year, gay civil unions were legalised and earlier this year earlier this year the
way was cleared for gay candidates to enter military schools.