South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled Sept. 10 that gay couples have the right to adopt children.
The court based its ruling on the nation's post-apartheid constitution, which bans outright all discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Lesbian judges Anne-Marie de Vos and Suzanne du Toit, who have been together for 13 years, filed suit after du Toit was prevented from adopting Vos' two kids.
"Family life as contemplated in the constitution can be lived in different ways," wrote Judge Lewis Skweyiya. "The stability, support and affection envisaged by the Child Care Act can be provided by people in permanent same-sex relationships."
Activists believe South African courts may soon legalize gay marriage--allowing same-sex couples to marry under the exact same laws as straight couples. Although numerous nations have special partnership laws that grant many, most or all rights of marriage to registered same-sex couples, only The Netherlands lets gays actually marry exactly like straight people do.