Year legalized: 2003
How it happened: Belgium's law enjoyed support from both the Flemish-speaking North and the French-speaking South, and afforded homosexual couples the same tax and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. But the Belgian parliament did not grant gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children until 2006. The law "remains blatantly hypocritical in one respect: a single person can adopt a child, but not a homosexual couple," a Socialist lawmaker complained in 2003.
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