NBA legend Dwyane Wade fired back in a legal objection to his ex-wife’s petition to block him from legally changing their teenage child’s gender and name.
In August, Wade filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court to allow the 15-year-old to have her name changed from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade. Court documents said Wade had the authority to make the decision on his child’s behalf and that the mother was notified of the petition as a “courtesy.”
Siohvaughn Funches-Wade filed a petition to block the move, alleging the former Miami Heat star violated a 2011 custody order and that he “is positioned to profit from the minor child’s name and gender change with various companies through contacts and marketing opportunities including but not limited to deals with Disney.”
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They are parents to two children, including 15-year-old Zaya, who identifies as a transgender girl.
According to documents obtained by Fox News Digital, Wade called his ex-wife’s claims about the potential to profit from their child’s name change “libelous at their core, and are, at best, nonsensical.” The documents insist Wade has the authority to make the final decision when it comes to their child.
Wade insisted in his objection that the court granting the petition is in the “best interest” of his child. He said that changing his child’s name from Zion to Zaya will allow her to “live more comfortably and honestly in all aspects of her life, from simple introductions and food orders, to applying for a driver’s license and filling out college applications.”
The documents also claim Wade reached out to his ex-wife in April 2022 about Zaya wanting to go through with the change.
DWYANE WADE ACCUSES EX OF BEING ABSENTEE PARENT AS HE FACES LEGAL BATTLE TRYING TO CHANGE CHILD’S NAME, GENDER
“On May 3, 2022, Siohvaughn responded to Dwyane’s counsel via e-mail, wherein she stated that she would not engage in any discussion about ‘elective matters’ until her relationship and bond with her child was ‘completely healed and restored,’” the documents say. “Dwyane fulfilled his obligations under the FCJ (final custody judgment) to seek Siohvaughn’s input on this matter. Siohvaughn, however, refused to engage in any substantive discussion.”
A hearing on the case is set for December in Los Angeles.
Dwyane and Siohvaughn’s split was less than amicable. According to ESPN Milwaukee, Wade was awarded sole custody of their two children.
Siohvaughn “embarked on an unstoppable and relentless pattern of conduct for over two years to alienate the children from their father, and lacks either the ability or the willingness to facilitate, let alone encourage, a close and continuing relationship between them,” Chicago Judge Renee G. Goldfard said in her ruling, according to ESPN Milwaukee.
Wade opened up about his child in February 2020.
“Our (then) 12-year-old came home … and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth, and I want to be referenced as ‘she’ and ‘her,’ and I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” Wade said at the time.
“We’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.”
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Wade is currently married to actress Gabrielle Union.