Greece allows same-sex couples to foster children

Greece has approved new legislation that will allow homosexual couples to foster children, as part of a shake-up of the country's adoption and fostering laws.

Lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament voted 161-103 to allow same-sex partners in a civil partnership to become foster — but not adoptive — parents.

The provision had prompted strong reactions from the governing party's right-wing junior coalition partner.

The new law approved Wednesday makes it easier — and faster — for people to foster or adopt children. The previous system was so ponderous and complex that several couples tried to bypass it through illegal adoptions.

Greece has a low birth rate and a rapidly aging population.