Dwyane Wade and Ex-wife Battle Over Zaya's Name Change

A hearing will be held to resolve the case on Dec. 12.

Dwyane Wade is responding to a petition from his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade that asks a court to require their daughter Zaya to wait until “the age of majority” to make permanent changes to her identity.

The retired NBA legend filed to have Zaya’s name and gender legally changed on Thursday, August 17th, in California, according to court documents obtained by The Blast, as per BET’s previous report. 

However, Funches-Wade submitted an objection to the filing on November 1. According to, in the filing, she wrote, “I contend that our child should be given the opportunity to decide for themselves at the age of majority if they want to move forward with changing their name and/or gender.”

She argued that the matter is a “parental rights issue.”

However, Dwyane took to Instagram yesterday, (Nov. 1) to address his ex-wife’s petition writing, “Since this must be the new way of parenting, I guess I have to address these allegations here, which is a damn shame. While I’m on a life-changing trip in our motherland, Africa, I’ve received a social media post about me forcing our 15 year old child to be someone she’s not and to do something against her will. These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children."

“While none of us are surprised by Siohvaughn’s attempt to fight Zaya’s identity and her unwavering attempt to drag my name through the mud, I’m very disappointed that she continuously find ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children," he added. "This report came out while Zaya was in class. This is a kid who has maintained a 4.0 GPA in honors classes while navigating all this unsolicited and harmful attention and debates about her gender and sexuality from those who are committed to not listening to her, much less even knowing her."

Wade added, “I think we have to continue to grow as parents and understand that our kids’ lives are not just about us. We didn’t have them to be a mini version of us. They’re going to become who they are in this world, and it’s our job to find that out.”

The couple also shares a 20-year-old son, Zaire, and their split has been rife with challenges. Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, maintain physical custody of Zaya. Wade also has an 8-year-old son with former partner Aja Metoyer and a 3-year-old daughter, Kaavia James with Union.

In his statement, Wade noted, “Siohvaughn tried a similar attempt over a decade ago (with equally damaging lies and causing irreparable harm to her children) and 13 lawyers later, I was awarded sole custody of our two kids as an active NBA player. All I ever wanted was to have my parenting time uninterrupted, as I knew that it would be a very difficult time for our kids to navigate their new normal."

He added of Funches-Wade: "So Instead of actually trying to co-parent over the years, she’s left her home to see more lawyers and has taken the time to talk to more lawyers since I filed for divorce, than she’s left her home to actually see or have truly spoken and LISTENED to Zaya over all these years."

Zaya came out as transgender in 2020 and her father and stepmother have publicly supported her journey. In concluding his statement, Wade said, “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."

There will be a hearing to resolve the case on December 12.

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