A light-hearted experiment to test the limits of what constitutes an acceptable name in Australia has resulted in a newborn baby boy being called ‘Methamphetamine Rules.’
The baby’s mother, Kirsten Drysdale, is a journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who presents a programme called What The FAQ, which aims to provide answers to viewers’ most burning questions about daily life.
One of the most recurrent questions was: “What can I legally call my baby?”
She put the question to the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, but received no response.
She also wanted to know what default name the registry office would come up with if it deemed a proposed name to be too offensive.
Heavily pregnant with her third child, she decided to take the matter into her own hands, filing an application to have her baby son named Methamphetamine Rules, a reference to the Class A drug.
To her shock, the name was accepted and she received a birth certificate which confirmed that the baby is now called Methamphetamine Rules.
“We thought, what is the most outrageous name we can think of that will definitely not be accepted?” she told the website news.com.au.
“Methamphetamine Rules we thought would surely get rejected, and then when it does, we can find out what name the registrar chooses.
“It was really just a light-hearted, curious attempt to get an answer to this question.”
Having let the bizarre name slip through its checks, the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages says it is now tightening up its procedures to prevent the same thing from happening again.
“I don’t know how it slipped through,” Ms Drysdale said. “I’m not sure if someone was overworked, or if it was automated somewhere.
“Or possibly, maybe they thought Methamphetamine was a Greek name.”
Her baby will not be stuck with the name forever. Ms Drysdale and her husband have applied to have it changed, although she has declined to reveal the new name they have chosen.
“It’s a beautiful name and I can tell you has nothing to do with Class A drugs,” she said.
On its website, the New South Wales registry office advises parents that they cannot choose a name for their baby that is more than 50 letters long.
Nor can they choose names which could be confused with an official rank or title, such as Queen, King, Prince, Princess, President, Judge or God.
“We will not register a name if we find it to be offensive or not in the public interest,” the government office says.