Chile's Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday approved a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Senate voted on the bill, with 21 lawmakers supporting the initiative and eight senators opposing it. After final approval by both chambers of parliament, the document must be signed by the president.

Since 2015, Chile has already had a law allowing same-sex couples to enter into a civil union. The new norm will fully equalise them with heterosexual couples, including in matters relating to parental rights and adoption. Currently, same-sex couples in Chile cannot adopt children.

Some changes have been made in the text of the initiative according to the terminology used in the Chilean Civil Code: the words "father" and "mother" should now be replaced by "parent" and the words "husband" and "wife" by "spouse".

The same-sex marriage bill was introduced in parliament in 2017 by the left-wing government of former president Michelle Bachelet. In June this year, center-right president Sebastián Piñera suddenly announced the urgent need to secure the bill's approval.