Vast differences in council practice when bereaved parents of deceased newborns seek their babies' ashes have been uncovered in a Herald investigation.
Some will produce ashes of stillborn babies or infants who survive just a few days and others have said they rarely do.
Aberdeen, Fife and Argyll and Bute councils are among those who routinely do not return ashes, saying it is often not possible as there is nothing or not enough left after cremation.
Others, such as South Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire, Highland and Falkirk, say they are able to provide ashes.
Bereavement charity Sands revealed the practices being investigated at Edinburgh's Mortonhall crematorium, where ashes were buried in an unmarked grave without consultation.
It has been contacted by people around Scotland who question whether they should have had ashes returned.
Dorothy Maitland, of Sands, said the varying practices were cruel and causing confusion.
She added: "This is going to open up all across Scotland. There have to be stronger guidelines to stop this happening."
Parents in the Aberdeen area are told there are no remains after the cremation of an infant.
A spokesman for Aberdeen City Council said: "Our staff will also advise parents or guardians that if there are remains we will advise them so they can scatter or bury them as they wish.
"We would stress it is unlikely there would be remains in the first place. We are not aware of any occasions where we have scattered or buried remains without liaising with the family."
Liz Murphy, Fife Council bereavement services manager, said remains would be offered.
But she added: "In line with national guidance, we advise parents on most occasions with a cremation of this nature there won't be any remains because a skeleton isn't formed until late in a baby's development."
An Argyll and Bute Council spokesman said the matter would always be discussed sensitively.
A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council said: “If an infant is cremated, there are often no ashes or a very small amount, depending on age and circumstances.
“We take steps to ensure that funeral directors are made aware of this at the time of booking, and can explain this sensitively to parents.
“Families are given the option of taking remains away themselves in a baby urn, or having them scattered in the Garden of Remembrance.”
Glasgow City Council said it was often not possible to collect ashes. Practices differ at the crematorium run by South Ayrshire at Masonhill in Ayr.
A spokesman said: "We ensure ashes from cremations are carefully recovered and make sure parental wishes are respected."
West Dunbartonshire said it "cremates every baby individually, collecting any ashes and, if requested, returns them".
Highland Council gives families the option of having the ashes returned or scattered by staff.
Falkirk and Perth and Kinross also said they return ashes.
A spokesman for Dignity UK, which operates four crematoriums, in Dundee, Ayrshire, Moray and Holytown, said: "There may be times when there are no cremated remains but we would always inform the family and the funeral director of this."