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Sunday: Tim and Tamati’s baby journey

Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey was born in the early hours of Wednesday July 10th, 2019.

His name, stems from one of the Te Arawa tribe’s most famous love stories between Hinemoa and Tūtānekai, who battled adversity to be together.

And this story is not too far from the truth for these two, or three, who have battled to produce their little miracle.

The baby was carried by a surrogate, Natasha Dalziel, the pregnancy announced earlier this year at Auckland's Big Gay Out.

Tim and Tamati who had a civil union in 2011, have been together for over 10 years.

Tamati Coffey is a former TV weatherman, winner of Dancing with the Stars and these days, MP for Waiariki. The love of his life is Tim Smith, a former music teacher from Northern England.

Together they're known as TimTam.

But becoming a parent for a gay male is not easy even though there are laws against discrimination.

For starters biology is not on their side.

So Tamati and Tim needed to find an egg to fertilise and a surrogate to carry it.

There are strict rules - it takes a special person to be a surrogate.

“To basically write-off a year of their life so that they can carry for you. And that's a huge commitment for anybody,” Tamati says.

Surrogacy in New Zealand is DIY. You have to find a surrogate yourself, and mum Natasha doesn’t get paid a cent.

“No not a single thing. I had been saving, because I'm a solo mum I need to make sure that I can financially support my babies,” she says.

Tamati and Tim now had all ingredients to make a family with IVF, seven eggs fertilised by Tamati and seven by Tim.

One of those was placed into Natasha and it grew.

Tim is the biological father, but, Tamati says, “we”ll both take on that role.”

Slightly nervous, but proud about announcing the news, the pair were mindful of potential backlash.

“When you grow up gay, you become quite resilient and you become quite used to hearing the hate. And isn't that awful that we just kind of accept it, but actually, we knew that it was, it would come, and it arrived,” says Tamati.

“There are the devout hard core Christians that think that, you know, God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” he says.

“Some people I've seen online, they say that it's child abuse two guys bringing up a baby,” adds Tim. 

And their response?

“I challenge with love, that's what I do. I never, I very rarely get angry. Like, Tim sometimes shoots from the hip, though, and that's the yin yang that we have in our relationship,” says Tamati.

The entire process is costing the pair around $40,000. And the baby is still not theirs after he’s born. They have to adopt the baby from Natasha who is the baby’s legal guardian.

She is however going to stay in their world and has agreed to breastfeed baby Tūtānekai for six months.

She doesn’t live with the boys but only an hour away, she’s committed to the journey.

Watch the full SUNDAY story in the video above.

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Former TV personality and Labour MP Tamati Coffey and partner Tim Smith have become dads for the first time but the path to fatherhood for gay male couples is not an easy one. They say it takes a village to raise a child, well it’s taken a village to make this one. Sunday has been alongside Tamati and Tim, their surrogate and egg donor from go to whoa through the up and downs on their journey to start a family. Source: Sunday


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