A Scottish adoption and fostering group has called on MSPs to approve new laws allowing gay couples to adopt.

Barbara Hudson, director of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering Scotland told politicians they would be doing a “disservice” to children if they abandoned the legislation.

The Adoption Bill, which was introduced in March 2006, aims to counter a significant reduction in families available for vulnerable children by allowing gay and unmarried couples to adopt.

It proposes measures to make the process of adoption easier and to provide better protection.

Present laws only allow one partner in an unmarried couple to adopt.

Ms Hudson said: “Children are growing up with their gay fathers and lesbian mothers and the care of them is no better or worse than any other parenting and I don’t think there is any serious effect on the children’s health and development.”

Scottish National Party MSP Adam Ingram asked if children would be stigmatised by having gay parents and questioned if the law would change the amount of people adopting.

Ms Hudson said in March, “Opening up adoption to unmarried partners will encourage more people to consider adoption, crucial at a time when too many children wait too long in temporary care waiting for a permanent family.”