An Australian journalist named her son “Methamphetamine Rules” and the New South Wales, Australia Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages allowed the ridiculous name to slip through the cracks of its processing system, according to news.com.au.
On Tuesday evening, the mother, identified as Kirsten Drysdale, was grilled by the host of A Current Affair, Allison Langdon, regarding the degrading blunder, reported the New York Post.
Drysdale, a journalist, had been working on a story for WTFAQ. It was part of a series on the topic of what Australians can legally name their newborn children. The new mother submitted the name “Methamphetamine Rules” for her baby boy believing it would never be approved. Her purpose was to reportedly figure out how the Registrar’s process works.
Langdon interviewed Drysdale on the Channel 9 current affairs program to discuss the unusual idea.
“Did the epidural block the brain? Why would you do this to your baby boy?” Langdon began.
“I did this in the name of journalism, Ally,” Drysdale replied, before the questioning took hardline tone.
Langdon challenged Drysdale by asking, “I know that when you fill in a passport form you have to answer if you’ve gone by another name, so baby Meth won’t have to tick ‘yes’ to that?”
Allison Langdon during the interview with Kirsten Drysdale. (Channel 9)
“No, he won’t, because that’s if you do a ‘change of name’,” Drysdale defended. “This is a different thing, it’s a ‘correction’, so there’s no endorsements on the bottom of the birth certificate that way.”
Langdon thoughtfully pondered if the situation was “a bit of a stunt,” before asking, “Did you take it too far?”
Drysdale looked to the side for a brief moment before answering, “Um, no. I would hope that there are no parents out there who would seriously call their child a name like that. But if they are calling their child a questionable name, I think we’ve shown that there needs to be some better checks on it.”
While some might find the “experiment” funny, Langdon noted, “others, I imagine, are appalled.”
Continuing to defend her position, Drysdale exclaimed there was “no lasting harm done.”
“We checked what the risks were before we did it and we’ve shown that there probably needs to be some tightening up of the processes to make sure when people fill out these forms that they are actually checked properly,” she said.
The NSW Registry issued a statement to news.com.au, saying the organization tightened its system following the embarrassing oversight.
“The Registry has since strengthened its processes in response to this highly unusual event,” the spokesperson said. “The vast majority of parents do not choose a name for their newborn baby that is obscene, offensive or contrary to the public interest.”
Ultimately, Drysdale was trying to determine what default name the Registrar chooses for babies whose first submissions are not acceptable by the governing body, the New York Post reported.
“Methamphetamine Rules, we thought would surely get rejected, and then when it does, we can find out what name the Registrar chooses,” she told news.com.au Tuesday. “It was really just a lighthearted, curious attempt to get an answer to this question.”
The Registrar said it was a rare oversight, and Drysdale’s son’s real, “normal” name should be approved any day.
“Baby Meth’s real name … I’m not publicly disclosing it, because I don’t want it to be attached to this,” Drysdale chuckled. “It’s a beautiful name and I can tell you has nothing to do with class A drugs. We think it’ll be a very unique 21st birthday present to tell him this story.”
Generally, names that are prohibited in most regions across Australia are ones that are offensive or contrary to the public interest.
Moreover, curse words, sex acts and slurs of any kind are also black-listed, as are official titles such as Doctor, Queen, King and Prime Minister.
Nevertheless, despite the restrictions, the individual registrars judge names on a “case-by-case” basis.