Same-sex couples in Tasmania will be able to adopt children not previously known to them, following the passing of a bill by the upper parliamentary house.

In April the Lower House of the Tasmanian parliament resoundingly supported removing the ban on same-sex adoption, voting 18 to 4 to pass the bill.

The Upper House has now followed suit, which will allow same-sex couples in the Australian state to be assessed for adoption in the same way that heterosexual couples are.

ABC reports that all but three MPs, Liberal Leonie Hiscutt and Independents Ivan Dean and Rosemary Armitage, supported the bill.

Labor Party MP Craig Farrell said the bill brought Tasmania in line with Western Australia and New South Wales.

He added: “This bill doesn’t say same-sex couples are to be considered over any others.

“It gives them the ability to apply, and it is then up to the authorities to say what is in the best interests of the child. It is really a pretty straight-forward piece of legislation.”

Save Marriage Coalition spokesman Guy Barnett countered: “The bill will relegate some Tasmanian children to a life without mothers or a life without fathers”.

Tasmanian marriage equality advocates have also called on the state Upper House to revisit same-sex marriage after a bill on the issue was voted down in the Federal Senate.

Tasmania’s same-sex marriage bill failed to pass the Legislative Council in September after a key member indicated he would vote against it.