A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has officially approved a filing to have the name and gender of Dwyane Wade’s daughter changed. As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, the former basketball star’s daughter, Zaya, came out as transgender in 2020. And her dad and stepmom, Gabrielle Union-Wade, together with her siblings, have been by her side.
The teen, born Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, will now be officially known as Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade, court documents obtained by PEOPLE revealed. The judge also gave the green light for Zaya’s new sex markers to reflect in legal documents.
Although Zaya has received support from her dad and stepmother after coming out, her biological mother claimed in a November court filing that the former Miami Heat star had pressurized the 15-year-old to change her gender because of financial benefits on the table, The Blast reported.
Wade, 41, however, took to Instagram to deny the allegations made by his ex-wife and Zaya’s mother Siohvaughn Funches-Wade. In the lengthy statement, Wade stated that the allegations were “harmful” and had “hurt” their 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[s] ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children,” the NBA champion stated.
Wade also claimed that his ex-wife “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. The 41-year-old also claimed Siohvaughn turned down an “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.”
Wade has been very open and supportive about his daughter’s transition. In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2020, he opened up about his daughter coming out.
“Zaya came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” he said.
“So internally it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. My wife [Gabrielle Union] reached out to everyone on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to help our child be her best self.”