Wade petitioned the court in August to have his child’s name changed. Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, the 15-year-old, was born a boy. However, the child came out as trans in 2020 and requested the name Zaya.

Dwyane Wade's Strong Bond With Daughter Zaya Through the Years

Image Credit: John Salangsang/Shutterstock

After a six-month legal struggle, Dwyane Wade’s transgender daughter has been given an official name change. Zaya, who has identified as a female since the age of 12, claimed in a court document in November that “this Petition is about allowing Zaya to live her truth.”

“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.”

Image Credit: Instagram/@zayawade

Zaya, Dwyane’s child from a previous marriage to Siohvaughn Funches, came out as trans in February 2020. The two got divorced in 2010 after an eight-year marriage and have been at odds over their daughter ever since.

While Funches has claimed that her ex “pressed” their child to “move forward” with a name and gender transition “in order to benefit on financial opportunities,” the athlete has continuously fought for Zaya’s ability to “live more comfortably and honestly in all aspects of her life.”
Dwyane Wade's ex-wife is trying to stop their daughter's legal name change : NPR

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The former NBA player referred to these accusations as “nonsensical” and “libellous at their heart,”
adding, “While it certainly would have been preferable for Zaya’s mother to be supportive of this important part of Zaya’s journey, Zaya should not be forced to put her life on hold while she waits for Siohvaughn to acknowledge and accept her truth.”
“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!”  Early in November, Wade mentioned about his ex in an Instagram post.
Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union Share Photos with Zaya Before Winter Formal


“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!
Dwyane continued by stating that he and his wife Gabrielle Union, who are the parents of 4-year-old Kaavia, would never “force Zaya or any of their children to do anything against their will, much less force an identity on them.” He also co-parents Xavier, a 9-year-old boy, with Aja Metoyer.
Published by HOLR Magazine.