Lesbian mothers who are not the biological parents of their children have been granted legal recognition by Tasmania’s legislative council.

The move means that they will be listed as parents on a child’s birth certificate, rather than having to go through costly adoption procedures.

The new right was granted in a unanimous vote and has been extended to apply retrospectively back to 2003.

Gay rights campaigners on the island have been campaigning for equal parenting rights for years. The bill was first introduced in 2003 but was struck down.

Rodney Croome from the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group told ABC News that the move would benefit children.

He said: “It means those children will now have the benefits which include of course greater legal, emotional and financial security of having two legal parents, both of them mothers, rather than just one legal parent, that has been the case up until now which of course has been their biological mother.”

In September, the law was changed to allow gay couples to hold official ceremonies to celebrate their Deed of Relationships, which are the Tasmanian form of civil partnerships.

The change, from November 1st, means that they will be able to sign their Deed of Relationship in a ceremony presided over by a marriage celebrant and in front of their friends and families.