Labour List MP Tamati Coffey. Photo / Andrew Warner
MP Tāmati Coffey has announced he is expecting a baby girl in March.
The Rotorua-based Labour list MP posted on Facebook this afternoon: ”She’s a girl. And she’s due in March. And we can’t wait.
“And again, we remain grateful to our surrogate Wonder Woman and her whanau, for allowing our little whanau to grow a little bigger,” the post said.
Comments offering congratulations – and even a name suggestion – immediately began flooding the post.
Coffey is married to Tim Smith. Their son, Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey, was born via surrogate in July 2019.
Earlier this year, the couple sold their two Eat Streat businesses, Rotorua International and Our House, with Smith planning to return to his teaching career.
In 2019, Coffey – then MP for Waiariki – submitted his first member’s bill, the Improving Arrangements for Surrogacy Bill.
The bill aimed to simplify surrogacy arrangements, ensure information recorded on birth certificates is complete, and provide a way to enforce surrogacy arrangements, in case an intending parent chooses not to take custody of the child.
Under current laws, intending parents of a child born via surrogacy are not offered automatic rights to custody of the child, meaning a formal adoption process is required to complete the arrangement.
“Having observed the process and been through the process … I recognise lots of things needed to change,” he told the Rotorua Daily Post at the time.
The bill was introduced to Parliament in September last year, passing its first reading in May.
It is at the select committee stage, with a report being prepared for the House, including recommended changes to the bill.