After a six-month court battle, Dwyane Wade’s transgender daughter has been granted an official name change, according to multiple reports.
Wade filed a petition in court in August to change his child’s name. The 15-year-old was born a boy named Zion Malachi Airamis Wade.
However, the child came out of trans in 2020 and wished to be called Zaya.
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Wade’s ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, had prevented Zaya from receiving an updated birth certificate, but the NBA legend said it was in his daughter’s “best interest.”
“This Petition is about empowering Zaya to live her truth,” a November court document said regarding Zaya, who has identified as a female since she was 12.
“A court order affirming her identity will allow Zaya 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.”
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Funches-Wade argued that her ex-husband is trying to profit off Zaya’s transition, and he “may be pressuring” Zaya over potential “financial opportunities,” allegations the former NBA star called “nonsensical” and “libelous at their core.”
The two were married in 2007 but divorced in 2010, and they’ve had a war of words over their daughter.
“I’ve given her the opportunity to reach out to Zaya’s teachers, doctors and therapist over the years and even meet her friends, so she could get her own understanding of our child’s needs for her LIFE! She won’t do it!” Wade wrote about his ex in an Instagram post in early November. “She has not been to a school, recital, graduation, school dance, play date, practice, parent teacher conference etc and Zaya has given her every opportunity to try to get to know her. She won’t do it!
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“As a woman who claims to be a good Christian mother, I’ve yet to see her make any sacrifice or effort to leave her own home to participate in her children’s lives in over a decade. Zaya is not that same 3 year child anymore and she’s screaming that to the world but most importantly to her Mother!
“No one in our house would ever force Zaya or any of our children to do anything against their will, much less force an identity on them. This isn’t a game for my family and definitely not for Zaya. This is her life! All the while my wife and our village has been her rock in helping her pick up the pieces after heartbreak after heartbreak!”
Wade is now married to Gabrielle Union.