The biological son of Dwyane Wade has legally made a name change and switched genders after a six-month court battle.
Wade's child was born a boy named Zion Malachi Airamis Wade. Now 15 years old, Zion is legally Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade after a judge granted the legal name and gender change. The judge confirmed the teen's transgender transition and allowed sex markers on documents to match the 15-year-old's preferred gender identity. The ruling was made in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday.
The court filing from November stated, "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."
The court document said, "This Petition is about empowering Zaya to live her truth."
However, the teen's mother has objected to her child's transgender transition throughout the legal process. The mother wanted to delay the minor's ability to legally change genders until the teen was an adult.
Wade's ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, had previously tried to prevent the teen from legally altering the birth certificate to a different name and gender.
Funches-Wade accused the NBA legend of trying to "profit" from the child's gender change in a court filing from last November.
Funches-Wade, 41, claimed that her ex-husband told her last March "that a lot of money had been already made and that additional money will be made in relation to our child’s name and gender issue." Funches-Wade alleged that Wade said that Disney could be interested in signing a deal with their child.
Wade's child had previously received modeling contracts from Tiffany and Dove.
Wade, 41, denied the accusations from his ex-wife.
"I've received a social media post about me forcing our 15-year-old to be someone she's not and to do something against her will," Wade wrote in an Instagram post. "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[s] ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children," the former Miami Heat star said.
Wade claimed that Funches-Wade "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.
Wade accused his ex-wife of refusing to meet with their daughter's teachers, doctors, and therapists.
Wade said of his ex-wife, "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!"
"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, "Wade added. 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!"
The pair met when Wade was 9 years old, dated in high school, got married in 2002, had two children together, and got divorced in 2007.
Wade married actress Gabrielle Union in 2014. Union, 50, has been very supportive of Wade's child transitioning.
Wade has an 8-year-old son with ex-girlfriend Aja Metoyer and a 3-year-old daughter with Union.
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