Legislation to allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt children jointly has been narrowly rejected by Portugal’s Parliament.
On Thursday, the draft laws, proposed by the Left Bloc, the Socialists and the Greens, failed to pass by 30 votes, reports AFP.
While Portugal legalised same-sex marriage in 2010, that law specifically barred these couples from adopting children jointly or to access IVF.
Gay people also cannot adopt the biological children of their partners. They are, however, currently allowed to adopt children as individuals.
A recent survey found 40.4 percent of Portuguese people are in favour of gay adoption, while 39.1 percent are against.
A move to have the country vote on the issue in a national referendum was rejected by Portugal’s Constitutional Court last year after it ruled that the questions proposed were “ambiguous” and difficult to understand.
While much of Europe has backed marriage equality, the issue of joint gay adoption continues to divide the public in a number of countries, including France, where its legalisation in 2013 led to mass public protests.