HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's freedom of information officer says the province is routinely ignoring its own laws by denying basic information to former foster children trying to learn about their family history.

A report by Dulcie McCallum says the Community Services Department is disregarding previous practice and the law through an incorrect interpretation of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Her report says former foster children are not being told why they were removed from their biological family, where they came from, or if their family had a history of health issues, among other things.

Department spokeswoman Elizabeth MacDonald says the province is reviewing McCallum's report.

The department has 15 days to respond.

McCallum says if Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard doesn't follow her recommendations, the minister should at least ask the legislature to address the matter with new legislation similar to that drafted for adopted children.