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Adult adoption petition fails to win over Holyrood's MSPs

Nathan Sparling said he was disappointed his campaign had not been progressed.

Holyrood: MSPs will not take the campaign further.
Holyrood: MSPs will not take the campaign further. STV

A campaigner calling for adult adoption to be allowed has spoken of his disappointment after his petition failed to convince MSPs to change the law.

Nathan Sparling, 29, had been campaigning to extend adoption rights to people over the age of 18 to allow him to be adopted by his step-father.

But a Holyrood committee ended its consideration of his petition calling for a change of family law on Thursday.

When he appeared before the Public Petitions Committee last year, Mr Sparling told MSPs that finding out he could not be adopted because he was over 18 "left me feeling as though my special moment of asking my father to adopt me was stolen from me".

Reacting to the decision on Thursday, Mr Sparling said: "I am very disappointed in the news that the Petition's Committee has decided to close my petition on Adult Adoption.

"I provided clear evidence that overcomes many of the 'complexities' that have been raised.

"Since I lodged the petition, hundreds of people across the UK have contacted me and it is clear there is a desire far beyond mine for this law to change."

"As our families develop with the times so must our laws."

He added: "The very emotional testimony I have read over the last year from people has driven me to continue this work.

"It is a shame, therefore, that this is the end of the road for this particular part of the campaign."

Although MSPs on the committee praised Mr Sparling for his testimony and the compelling argument, Brian Whittle MSP argued that the "complexities that have arisen and the resource required have made this a lot less clear".

He added: "I'm actually at a loss to see where we go with this."

Gail Ross MSP said: "The issue is a lot more complex than you first think.

"I have absolute, complete sympathy for where the petition is coming from and wants to go to.

"Given our limitations, I do believe we have probably taken it as far as we can."

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