Dwyane Wade responds to ex-wife who opposes proposed changes to their child Zaya’s birth certificate

Dwyane Wade responds to ex-wife who opposes proposed changes to their child Zaya’s birth certificate

Dwyane Wade has responded after his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade objected to Wade’s petition to change their child’s legal name to Zay Wade and indicate the gender on the child’s birth certificate.

In Funches-Wade’s legal document dated Oct. 31 and filed in Los Angeles County District Court, she asks that their child, who is 15 and a half years old, “be given the opportunity at the age of two and a half to make this monumental decision.”

In his response, which he posted on social media on Thursday, Wade, who shares children Zaja and Zaire, 20, with Funches-Wade, responded to his ex-wife’s claims in her complaint, describing them as “serious and damaging allegations that 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 am very disappointed that she continually finds ways to focus on herself and HER needs, regardless of her children.” Wade said in a statement released on Instagram.

PHOTO: Zaya Wade at the Miu Miu Womenswear S/S 2023 fashion show on October 4, 2022 in Paris.

Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images

Zaya Wade attends the Miu Miu Womenswear S/S 2023 fashion show on October 4, 2022 in Paris.

In her complaint, Funches-Wade claims that Wade “is in a position to profit from the minor child’s name and gender reassignment with various companies through contacts and marketing opportunities including but not limited to contracts with Disney.” Her statement goes on to make these claims: “The petitioner [Wade] he 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 involved.”

She states that after inquiring about these potential opportunities, while their minor was present, their minor claimed that “various companies are interested and that Disney is a promising company.”

Funches-Wade also cited potential “media pressure” on the juvenile due to the “high-profile nature of this case.” Her complaint states that Wade “may be pressuring or inducing a minor child with lucrative financial opportunities to pursue this current petition.”

“I am concerned about our child being commercialized at an early age, as well as the uncontrollable consequences of media exposure, i.e. cyberbullying, statements and/or images taken out of context of our child, and unwanted spotlight directed at our child,” she states.

Wade responded to Funches-Wade in his Instagram post.

“Zaya is no longer the same 3-year-old and she is 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 to force an identity on them,” he wrote.

He added: “This is not a game for my family and definitely not for Zaya. This is her life!”

Wade originally filed a petition in August to legally change the details on Zaya’s birth certificate. Wade said in 2020 that Zaya is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and uses she/her pronouns.

In Wade’s petition, also filed in California, he states that, as the petitioner, he “has full authority to make decisions on behalf of the petitioning minor and is not required to obtain Ms. Funches-Wade’s consent.” The document also states that Funches-Wade received notice of the petition.

But Funches-Wade claimed in her objection that she did not receive the notice. “At no time prior to the filing of the instant petition on August 22, 2022, petitioner [Wade] to contact or consult with the appointed parenting coordinator regarding the proposed name and gender change of our child, which is prescribed by the final judgment on guardianship”, the text reads.

In that filing, Funches-Wade says she disputes Wade’s claim that she has “full authority to make decisions on behalf of Zaya” and states that, under their March 2011 Illinois custody ruling, “the parties are required, pursuant to the final by the judgment on custody, to meet and consult on all important decisions for the minor child in question, and to consult with the appointed parenting coordinator in case of unresolved disputes.”

PHOTO: Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade and Gabrielle Union arrive at the Gucci Love Parade, Nov. 2, 2021, in Los Angeles.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade and Gabrielle Union arrive at the Gucci Love Parade on Nov. 2, 2021, in Los Angeles.

Funches-Wade’s complaint states that the parenting coordinator can “mediate disputes concerning parenting matters” that any parent would bring to them regarding the children. The parenting coordinator will then “work with both parents to try to resolve the conflict and, if necessary, recommend an appropriate solution to the parents.”

Funches-Wade also argues in her demurrer that Wade’s petition should be dismissed because she never received notice that he registered a judgment of custody in Illinois in California after she moved there from Florida. She claims that Wade is aware of this requirement because he did so when he moved from Illinois to Florida.

Wade and Funches-Wade married in 2002 and divorced in 2010. Wade married actress Gabrielle Union in 2014 and, in addition to raising Zaya and Zaire, they are parents to Wade’s son Xavier, 8, and their daughter Kaavia, 3.

“Good Morning America” ​​has reached out to attorneys for Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches-Wade for additional comment. We’ve also reached out to Disney for comment. Disney is the parent company of ABC News and Good Morning America.

Editor’s note: The description of Wade’s petition has been updated in this story.

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