Recently released statistics have revealed that gay and lesbian couples adopted almost half of the adopted children in Belgium last year.

The Flemish Adoption Centre said that the total number of Belgian children adopted in the country in 2012 was 30.

Of these, 14 were adopted by gay couples.

This shows a significant increase over the previous year, in which only a quarter of adoptions were by same-sex couples.

Gay adoption was legalised in Belgium in 2006, but Ariane Van den Berghe from the Flemish Adoption Centre, told AP that “The trend started really slowly. During the first years the number of gay adoptions was limited.

“Prospective lesbian and gay couples have to go through the usual procedure and end up on a waiting list. As a result it took some time for the gay adoptions to flow through into the system,” she explained.

In 2004, Belgium became the second country in the world, after the Netherlands, to legalise same-sex marriages.

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