The Children and a Family Relationship Bill has passed in the Seanad, after 122 amendments and days of debate.

Senators, along with Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, debated aspects of the legislation for over eight hours today.

The Bill extends guardianship, custody and adoption rights to different family situations.

Under the bill, same-sex civil partners and co-habiting couples will be able to jointly adopt children.

The Bill, also enables a spouse, civil partner or partner that has lived with a parent for three years and has looked after the child for two years, to apply for guardianship on day-to-day matters or custody.

It will give family step-parents and grandparents, greater access to children when relationships break down.

Out of the 22 Senators that voted on the fifth stage of the legislation tonight, two voted against the Bill.

They were the Independent Senator Rónán Mullen and Fianna Fáil Senator Jim Walsh.

The latter resigned the party whip last week over his opposition to the legislation.