By Sonia Horon for Dailymail.Com and Ronny Reyes for Dailymail.Com
01:13 25 Feb 2023, update 03:25 Feb 25 2023
Following a court battle between Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, their transgender daughter Zaya was granted a legal name and gender reassignment.
A Los Angeles County judge has approved the new identity of Dwyane’s 15-year-old child in documents obtained by TMZ.
The 40-year-old former professional basketball player’s daughter – who came out as trans in 2019 aged 12 – is now legally named Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.
The judge also granted her official sex change from male to female. The name and gender petition was filed last August. Last November, Zaya’s mother challenged Wade’s petition, saying their child was under financial pressure to make the decision.
Since coming out, Zaya has won modeling deals with brands like Tiffany, Dove and amassed hundreds of thousands of social media followers. According to her mother, she is also in talks for deals with Disney.
The retired NBA star argued in court that he had “full authority” to “make decisions on behalf” of Zaya when he won custody of his two children in 2011 against Siohvaughn, a reported RadarOnline last month.
Funches-Wade filed an objection in Los Angeles County Superior Court in November over Zaya’s name change, accusing Wade of exploiting their daughter for profit.
In his latest filing, Wade said the allegations were “unsubstantiated.” He also claimed his ex failed to prove why the name change wouldn’t be in Zaya’s best interest.
Wade also said Funches-Wade’s opposition to a court petition to allow Zaya to change the law was “defamatory” and “absurd”, TMZ reported at the time.
Funches-Wade told the court in November that the former NBA player was looking to fine-tune Zaya’s story amid business opportunities with companies such as Disney.
Wade, who played for the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls during his career, told the court it was in Zaya’s “best interest” to approve the petition.
He said that “a court order confirming his identity will allow Zaya to live more comfortably and honestly in all aspects of his life – from simple walk-ins and ordering food, to applying for a driver’s license and filling out applications. university registration”.
Wade said “the petition is about allowing Zaya to move through the steps of being a young adult with confidence and joy.”
Wade’s attorneys added: ‘Siohvaughn’s allegations are defamatory and, at best, absurd. Dwyane filed this petition because Zaya asked him to.
In August, Wade filed a petition to allow Zaya to legally change her gender and name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade. Zaya has been going by the name Zaya for two years.
Funches-Wade has previously said in court that she thinks Wade “may pressure our child to go ahead with the name and gender change to take advantage of the financial opportunities he has. received from companies”.
In her filed objection, she said she wanted Zaya to wait until she was 18 before changing her name and alleged that Wade was pushing for the name change for business.
“I’m concerned that (Dwyane) is pressuring our child to go ahead with the name and gender change to take advantage of the financial opportunities he has received from companies,” he said. she stated in her legal filing.
She also cited a conversation in April in which she claims Dwyane told her ‘a lot of money has already been made and more money will be made in relation to the name and gender of our child’ .
“(Dwyane) told me that he intended to make our child very famous because of the name and gender issue and also informed me that there would be endorsements/contracts associated with that,” she says.
Funches-Wade and Wade were married between 2002 and 2010. They also share eldest son Zaire, 20.
Wade filed for divorce in 2007, the same year he met Gabrielle Union, whom he married in 2014.
Since 2019, the two have described how Zaya appeared to them and how they now know her as her “authentic self.”
“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 her and her and I’d like you to call me Zaya,’ he told Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on his show.
In a later interview with People, he said Zaya’s transition gave him “hope”.
He first spoke about his transition in 2019 on Matt Barnes’ podcast, All The Smoke.
“I had to look at myself in the mirror. When my son at the time was three years old and my wife and I started having conversations about us, noticing that he wasn’t in the boyish mood that (older brother) Zaire was.
‘I had to look in the mirror and say ‘what if your son comes home and tells you he’s gay?’ What are you going to do?
“You are going to talk about strength and courage. My 12 year old son has way more than me. You can learn something from your children. With us, we only talk about that. We’re talking about making sure our kids are seen by all of us. We want them to be who they think they can be in this world. This is our goal.
“I saw my son, from day one, become what he has become.
‘And for me, that’s it: nothing changes with my love. Nothing changes in my responsibilities. So all I had to do now was get smarter, educate myself more. And that’s my job,” he said.