Broadcaster Toni Street and her husband are expecting their third child - this time via a surrogate mother.

Street has opened up on the happy family news for her and husband Matt France and also spoken of the serious health battle that has required them to use a surrogate – Street's best friend Sophie Braggins - to add to their current family of two young daughters.

Street - a co-host of the The Hits' popular morning radio show - and France will welcome a baby boy into their family in August.

They have gone public as a rising number of Kiwi families face a range of fertility issues, with some looking at the option of investigating surrogacy.

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Toni Street and her best mate Sophie Braggins. Braggins is acting as Street's surrogate and carrying her third child, due in August. Photo / Supplied
Toni Street and her best mate Sophie Braggins. Braggins is acting as Street's surrogate and carrying her third child, due in August. Photo / Supplied

Commercial surrogacy is banned in New Zealand but a leading surrogacy lawyer has called for a law change to allow compensation to be paid to women who bear a baby for someone else.

Zandra Wackenier, who has represented surrogate mothers and "intending parents" in dozens of applications to authorities, said surrogates should be compensated for their out-of-pocket expenses.

Street and France said they also wanted to share their story to raise awareness around surrogacy in New Zealand and to clear up any misconceptions about their choice to go down that path.

Street told the Weekend Herald in an exclusive interview; "We're having a baby, which is very exciting - but I am not pregnant."

The couple, both aged 34, are already parents to two daughters - Juliette, 5, and Mackenzie, 2-and-a-half.

The decision to have the baby via surrogacy was made after Street was diagnosed with a rare and incurable auto-immune condition shortly after she gave birth to Mackenzie in mid-2015.

Street became severely unwell - so sick she was in the early stages of organ failure.

Specialists revealed she had the life-threatening Churg-Strauss syndrome - which causes auto-immune systems to overreact, leading to allergies, tissue damage and death.

Street underwent six months of intensive treatment and was facing a course of chemotherapy - but managed to get her symptoms under control and is now in remission.

She may be fit and well now, but the condition can reappear at any time without warning.

Last year she sat down with her doctor to discuss having a third baby.

"We always wanted a big family, we've made no secret about the fact that we wanted three or four kids," Street said.

Toni Street and her husband Matt France are expecting their third child, this time via a surrogate mother. New Zealand Herald photograph by Doug Sherring
Toni Street and her husband Matt France are expecting their third child, this time via a surrogate mother. New Zealand Herald photograph by Doug Sherring

"I said to him, can I have a third child and he said 'I don't think you should'.

"My doctor said I'd be risking my life, risking not being around for Juliette and Mackenzie and I decided I can't do that to them - so I wouldn't have a third child."

As the couple dealt with the heart-breaking decision that Street shouldn't carry another child, Braggins made an offer that they couldn't refuse.

"I had mixed emotions," Street said.

"It's a massive thing for someone to do for you - this is my best friend having to go through another pregnancy, me having to watch her be sick, deliver a child and recover.

"All of that just so I could have another child, it was a big decision.

"I initially dismissed it, but Sophie came back and said 'I am serious, I really want to do this' and she bombarded me with text messages to reiterate that this wasn't a pie in the sky offer.

"So, we sat down to have a serious discussion about a year ago."

Braggins, who is married, told the Weekend Herald that she was thrilled to be able to help her friends.

The way New Zealand law works, even though the baby is biologically their own, Braggins will be the legal guardian when he is born.

Street and France then have to adopt their son.