ABC journalist names newborn son ‘Meth Rules’


ABC journalist Kirsten Drysdale is currently in a newborn bliss bubble, having recently welcomed her third child with her husband Chris.

There’s just one problem. Her son’s legal name is Methamphetamine Rules.

The NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages let the name slip through the cracks during the submission process, despite offensive terms being prohibited. A spokesperson told they’ve since “strengthened” their system to avoid it happening again.

OK, mistakes happen, but why would Drysdale name her child Methamphetamine to begin with?

The Mackay-born TV presenter had been working on a story for the ABC’s WTFAQ program, which aims to investigate the answers to viewers’ burning questions.

‘What can I legally name my baby?’ has come up consistently.

While researching for the story, which will air Wednesday at 9pm, a then heavily-pregnant Drysdale was trying to decipher what the Registrar default names a child if the parents’ first submission is rejected.

She wasn’t getting a clear answer from the government body’s media team, and as she was about to give birth, Drysdale decided it was perfect timing to take matters into her own hands.

“We thought, what is the most outrageous name we can think of that will definitely not be accepted?” Drysdale tells

“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 lighthearted, curious attempt to get an answer to this question.”

Imagine Drysdale’s horror when her initial online submission listing her son’s fake name was approved “very quickly”.

Weeks later, Drysdale got quite the push present when the official birth certificate arrived in the mail, with ‘Methamphetamine Rules’ listed as her son’s given name.

“I don’t know how it slipped through,” 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.

“They haven’t really given us a clear answer.”

Thankfully, the Registrar admitted it was a rare oversight, and Drysdale’s son’s real, “normal” name should be approved any day now.

“Baby Meth’s real name … I’m not publicly disclosing it, because I don’t want it to be attached to this,” she laughed.

“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.”

A spokesperson for NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages said it had refurbished its process in the wake of the situation, in a bid to ensure such names don’t slip through the cracks.

They added that names registered at birth remain on the register “forever, even if the name is formally changed”. However, in this “highly unusual” circumstance, the Registrar is helping Drysdale correct the name.

“The Registry has since strengthened its processes in response to this highly unusual event,” the spokesperson continued.

“The vast majority of parents do not choose a name for their newborn baby that is obscene, offensive or contrary to the public interest.”

As a general rule, names that are prohibited in most states and territories across Australia are ones that are offensive or contrary to the public interest.

Swear words, sex acts and slurs of any kind are also black-listed, as are official titles such as Doctor, Queen, King and Prime Minister.

While there are clear restrictions, the individual registrars judge names on a “case-by-case” basis.

WTFAQ airs Wednesday at 9pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.


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