Victoria's Legislative Council has pushed through adoption law reform (with religious exemptions). The result means same-sex couples will be able to jointly adopt children - but religious-based providers can still choose not to work with gay or lesbian couples.

The Bill was voted in with a resounding majority of 31 - 8.

The amendment brings Victoria in line with other states and territories such as NSW, WA, Tasmania and the ACT which currently allow adoption by same-sex couples.

Prior to the Bill passing, only the biological parent in a same-sex family was legally recognised.

The debated continued for over five hours with many MP’s expressing their reasons for why the discriminatory legislation should be removed.

Unfortunately the victory was bittersweet, with religious organisations still provided with exemptions allowing them to discriminate against same-sex couples on faith based reasons. 

Several religious organisations had previously said they would withdraw from offering adoption services if the amendment was passed without exemptions.