The chairman of a Scottish Catholic adoption charity which was recently told it must accept applications from same-sex couples, or risk losing its charity status, has called the raising of children by gay couples “a terrible social experiment”.

In January, the Scottish adoption charity St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society, was warned that if it did not start accepting applications from gay couples it would lose its charity status.

St Margaret’s policy states that “We expect applicants to have been married for at least two years”.

Father Tom White of St Margaret’s said the country was “on the brink of declaring illegal”, the belief that all children should have a mother and a father, reports the Herald.

The charity has also announced that it will go to the Court of Session in Edinburgh, in order to fight to keep its charitable status. Despite the ruling by the Scottish Charity Regulator being upheld, back in March, the charity hopes to fight the decision.

In its annual report, Father White wrote: “Society at large is embarking on a terrible social experiment with children, treating them as commodities that people have a right to, such as gas, electricity, or a hotel room.

“Our country is on the brink of declaring illegal the belief that every child where possible deserves a mother and father.”

The annual report was handed out to supporters and adoptive parents at the St Margaret’s yearly thanksgiving mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow.

As well as reaffirming the organisation’s stance, Father White called upon supporters to take on the legal fight, describing the legal costs as “frightening”.

He described a campaign by the Secular Society to have the charity disassociate itself from Catholic teachings, or face the removal of its charitable status as “aggressive”.

He said: “What we have to look at are the implications. If the charity is removed from the Scottish Charity Register, is it viable as an organisation?”

Noting that around £100,000 of funding came from the Catholic church, he said: “So if we were to become disassociated, there would be implications about how viable St Margaret’s would be as a service in the longer term.”

As well as reaffirming its stance on same-sex parenting, the organisation announced its plans to move to improved accommodation, in order to open a new family centre.

Glasgow City Council has started a campaign to encourage same-sex adoption, and a spokesman condemned the views expressed by Father White, saying they were not shared by the council.