A 27-year old man who wants to be adopted by his stepfather has had his hopes quashed by a "disinterested" government.

Nathan Sparling has campaigned to reform family law to allow parents to adopt adults - a move currently prohibited under Scots Law.

He believes his stepfather Brian, who has been involved in his upbringing since he was 13, should be able to become his adoptive father.

The Scottish Government said it would review adoption procedures, however has now said that it has no plans to extend the age of adoption of a child beyond the age of 18.

Mr Sparling said that the response from the government was "disappointing".

"Since calling for adoption rights to be extended to over-18s, I’ve had numerous messages of support from people in similar circumstances to me," he said.

"Each person has their own story, their own reasons for wanting to be adopted as an adult.

"Each story very powerful and moving.

"It seems that when provided an opportunity to make positive change to support the stronger bond of diverse families in Scotland, the Government seem disinterested."

Mr Sparling is calling for changes to the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act of 2007, and said he had drawn support from across the UK and internationally.

Many other countries already allow someone who has fulfilled the role of parent to adopt their child after they turn 18, including the US, Japan and Germany.

Family lawyer Lynsey Brown, of Harper Macleod in Glasgow, said changing the law could be beneficial and achievable, though safeguards would be needed to prevent any abuse of any changes to the law.

Responding to a question lodged in the Scottish Parliament, Childcare Minister Maree Todd said that current legislation was designed to protect and safeguard children and provide family stability.

She said: "We are constantly improving the procedures, services and support around adoption and permanence for children to ensure that Scotland has a modern, responsive and child-centred adoption system. There are no plans currently to extend the age of a child beyond 18 for this purpose."

She said that there was already other legislation "to allow for individuals to change their names on birth certificates and for adults to make provision in wills for the sharing of property to non biological members of their family."

Mr Sparling said that while changing a name was an important aspect of belonging to a family, "when my birth certificate doesn’t reflect the reality of my family circumstances, or marriage certificates identify mothers or fathers as step-parents, it’s clear that without a change to the law to allow adult adoption, it’s just tokenism."

He added: "Scotland, and the rest of the UK, is behind on this area of adoption law. It is right to consider relevant safeguards to ensure a new system for adult adoption would not be abused, but we should be allowing adoption on the basis of parenting, family and a personal sense of belonging.

"I would urge the Government to reconsider their position, and meet with me and others who want to be adopted as adults to hear why this small change is so important to us."

Kezia Dugdale, who raised the question in parliament, said that Mr Sparling had given a "powerful and emotive argument to extend adopt rights to over-18s".

The Lothian Labour MSP added: "I strongly believe he has the right to be listened to.

“I made representations on his behalf and it’s disappointing that the Scottish Government has immediately said it has no plans to allow for persons over the age of 18 to be legally adopted.

“Nathan is not alone in wishing to see the system changed, and I hope ministers will reconsider their position and take the time to listen to the personal stories from those who want adoption rights to be extended.”

Conservative MSP Miles Briggs, who also met with Mr Sparling about the campaign, said: "It is clear that for a number of adults in Scotland that this is an issue.

"I am sympathetic to what Mr Sparling is trying to achieve and have written to the Scottish Government asking for their position."