Dwyane Wade's Kids: Everything to Know

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Dwyane Wade is raising five kids: Dahveon, Zaire, Zaya, Xavier and Kaavia

 Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Dwyane Wade is most known for his basketball skills, but off the court, the three-time NBA champion is also a dad.

Wade shares two children with ex-wife Siovaughn Funches: Zaire, 22, and Zaya, 16, as well as a son, Xavier, 10, with Aja Metoyer. In 2018, Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, welcomed a daughter, Kaavia James, 5. Wade is also the legal guardian of his nephew, Dahveon Morris, 21.

Both Wade and Union have been open about what it's like raising a blended family. In 2017, Union revealed that Wade and his kids changed her entire perspective on what she wanted for her future.

"I never wanted kids," she told PEOPLE. "Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I'd rather be than with them."

After welcoming Kaavia, Union penned her first children's book, which she described to PEOPLE as a "love letter to every non-traditional family, blended families, that no matter how you became a new family, it is beautiful and real."

As for the couple's parenting style, Wade told PEOPLE in 2021 that he really tries to "get to know" his kids. "I try to meet them where they're at, and I don't try to always bring them to where I want them to be," he explained.

The athlete also thinks it's important to "lead with love."

"I want to be somebody who my kids always understand, that can adapt, and that is willing to grow and is willing to learn," he told PEOPLE in 2021. "Also, someone that they can come to for advice about this, that or the third, and that will not be judgmental about it."

In April 2023, Wade appeared on an episode of Headliners, where he was asked about Florida politicians who are fans of his but are against LGBTQ rights.

"That's another reason why I don't live in that state," the former Miami Heat player said about relocating his family to California. "A lot of people don't know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions. My family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there."

Here's everything to know about Dwyane Wade's blended family.

Dahveon Morris, 21

Bobby Metelus/Getty
Bobby Metelus/Getty

In 2011, Wade was awarded full custody of his nephew, Dahveon Morris. Dahveon and his cousin Zaire are very close and even played basketball together at Sierra Canyon School. In April 2019, Wade and Union sent their nephew off to prom in style, with the Cheaper by the Dozen actress posting about the occasion on Instagram. "PROM!!!!!" she wrote alongside a family picture.

Zaire Wade, 22

Charley Gallay/Getty
Charley Gallay/Getty

On Feb. 4, 2002, Wade welcomed his first child, Zaire Wade, with his high school sweetheart and wife at the time, Funches. Wade was just 20 years old when he first became a dad.

Zaire has been following in his father's footsteps since he was young with a dream of making it to the NBA. In high school, he played basketball alongside Lebron James' son, Bronny James, at the Sierra Canyon School, a prominent Los Angeles-area school known for its success on the court.

While inheriting some of his dad's athleticism has been helpful, bearing his last name has come with a lot of pressure and expectations. Luckily, Zaire has his father's support, although Wade has noted that he is merely in the "passenger seat" of his son's basketball career.

"He's in the driver's seat," Wade told PEOPLE in 2020. "If basketball is the ultimate goal, then I'm just trying to help him along the way, understanding there's so many different ways to get to this goal." He continued, "There's so many different ways to get to the NBA or to get that path ... So, [I'm] just trying to help him navigate through expectations that the world has put on him, and that he puts on himself because of his last name."

Meg Oliphant/Getty
Meg Oliphant/Getty

In October 2021, Zaire achieved his goal when he was drafted by the Salt Lake City Stars as the No. 10 pick.

"I think I just want people to know — first of all, I'm extremely blessed to have this opportunity from the Stars to even want to take interest in me," Zaire told the Salt Lake Tribune at the time. "I know I'm a young guy to develop."

In addition to basketball, Zaire is also passionate about fashion and has his own apparel company, YnG DnA. In July 2021, the young entrepreneur teamed up with his dad to create a pride collection benefitting Athlete Ally, a leading national non-profit working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQI+ equality. "We wanted to do something to try and show our support to my sister Zaya and the whole community," Zaire told PEOPLE.

In February 2023, Wade gave Zaire a shout-out on Instagram in honor of his 21st birthday.

"Watching you grow up and evolve into your own man has been the highlight of my life. Happy birthday @Zaire, got you forever! 🖤," he captioned a montage of images with his firstborn.

Zaya Wade, 16

Emma McIntyre/Getty
Emma McIntyre/Getty

Zaya Wade was born on May 29, 2007, to Wade and Funches. The pair split that same year, and in 2011, Wade was granted full custody of Zaire and Zaya.

The athlete later reflected on the decision to fight for full custody and the difficulties of being a single parent during an appearance on Showtime's All the Smoke podcast.

"When I decided to go for custody, I really didn't have a lot of examples," he explained. "I really didn't have too many people I could reach out to to say, 'Bro, how's the process?' Or give me confidence that I even can stand a chance ... It was uncharted waters, but it was all about just being in my kids' lives." He added, "But once I got that opportunity to be there more, I think it was beneficial for both of us — I needed them and they needed me."

In February 2020, Zaya came out as transgender and she received tons of support from her family.

Wade opened up about the moment Zaya first came out during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres. "Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home and said, 'Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I'm ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I'd love for you guys to call me Zaya,' " he said.

The former NBA player later elaborated on that "landmark moment" with his daughter.

"I came home and I just remember my child being scared to talk to me, like hiding in my wife's arm in a chair," Wade said during an event in Ojai, California. "I think I'm this dad that's like, 'Hey, come and tell me anything! I'm a cool dad.' And so I had to check myself."

He continued: "In a lot of work as parents — and as people — what we do is we put our fears and everything on our kids. And I guess I was doing that. So I had to go look myself in the mirror and ask myself, "What is it about my masculinity that has my child afraid?' "

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Union also made a statement on Twitter in February 2020, writing: "Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip-smart and we are so proud of her. It's OK to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people."

That same month, Wade got candid about loving and supporting all of his children exactly as they are. "As I'm raising [Zaya], as I'm raising my kids, you just try to put them in the best situations to be able to succeed in life," he told PEOPLE exclusively. "How I do that, and how me and my wife decide to do that, may be different than another family, but we want them to know there's always unconditional love, that it will always be support."

Zaya sharing her story marked the beginning of the Union-Wade family's public LGBTQ advocacy, for which they were honored as part of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

In May 2022, Zaya teamed up with her stepmom to participate in the Dove Self-Esteem Project. Speaking with PEOPLE about the project, Zaya and Union discussed unrealistic beauty standards and the dark side of social media.

Zaya Union Instagram
Zaya Union Instagram

"As a trans person, once I came out, there was a lot of hateful comments about how I should grow my hair out long or fit into a certain version of femininity, even though that's not true at all," Zaya shared. "That kind of advice is just trying to break you, but don't let it."

Union added, "We try to stress character, compassion, love, acceptance and joy. That hopefully radiates from the inside out. When it comes to how she moves through the world, we try to stress there is no one way to be a woman or to be feminine."

Despite all the love she's received from her family and fans, there are still some trolls who leave negative comments on Zaya's social media. In September 2022, Wade and Union made the decision to restrict comments on Zaya's Instagram page to protect her from any negativity. "For Zaya's mental health and privacy we've decided not to allow the hate into her comments," the protective dad wrote on Twitter. "Thank you for wanting to spread and show her love."

In November 2022, Wade responded after his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, alleged that the former NBA player was trying to "profit" from Zaya's name and gender change. "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," Wade wrote on Instagram. "These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children."

Wade added that he's "very disappointed" that Funches-Wade "continuously find[s] ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children."

On Nov. 28, 2022, Wade filed a second petition to legally change Zaya's name and gender after Funches-Wade objected to the first filing, which took place in August 2022. According to documents obtained by PEOPLE, the pro athlete called Funches-Wade's objection "libelous" and "nonsensical."

"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," the documents read.

In February 2023, Zaya was officially granted an official name change and assignment of gender, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

A day later, Wade gave Zaya a shout-out at the NAACP Image Awards as he accepted the President's Award alongside Union.

"Zaya, as your father, all I've wanted to do is get it right. I've sat back and watched how gracefully you've taken on the public scrutiny," the former basketball pro said during the couple's acceptance speech. "And even though it's not easy, I watched you walk out of that house every morning as yourself. I admire how you've handled ignorance in our world. I admire it that you face every day. To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement."

In March 2023, Zaya made her runway debut during Miu Miu's Paris Fashion Week show. Both Wade and Union were sitting front row for the big moment.

The same month, she opened up about her relationship with Union to DAZED magazine, and shared some of the beauty lessons the actress has taught her.

"It's about being you and expressing yourself the way you want to. She tries to teach me that beauty standards are arbitrary and that they don't mean anything," Zaya explained. "They don't matter anymore; what people thought was the standard is not. And just that being myself is the best technique out there."

<p>Gabrielle Union Wade/Instagram</p>

Gabrielle Union Wade/Instagram

In May 2023, Zaya celebrated her 16th birthday. Union and Wade marked the occasion by sharing photos and videos on Instagram of Zaya throughout the years. "16 🖤," Union wrote with her post.

In an interview published in August 2023, Union and Wade said that Zaya played a part in their decision to move from Florida to California.

“There are a lot of reasons we decided California was best for our family and finding a community for Zaya was a big part of that," Wade said. "We felt that California was a place that would allow her to blossom and grow. She’s going to be a Junior in high school now and she’s been able to be accepted and become her here.”

Union added, “When you have the kind of rhetoric that is being espoused in Florida and adopted into law, that's not an option if my child isn't safe there."

Xavier Wade, 10

George Pimentel/Getty
George Pimentel/Getty

In early 2013, Wade and Union briefly split, citing scheduling issues. The couple reunited and were engaged by December 2013, but during their time apart, it was revealed that Wade had fathered a child with longtime friend and Basketball Wives star, Aja Metoyer.

Union was aware of the child before she accepted Wade's proposal, and the pair worked through the issue privately.

Xavier Zechariah Wade was born on Nov. 10, 2013. In his photographic memoir Dwyane, Wade spoke about the challenges of co-parenting a young child.

Dwyane Wade/Snapchat
Dwyane Wade/Snapchat

"Xavier doesn't live with me, so we don't get to see each other every day like I do with my other kids," Wade wrote. "It makes things challenging at times, but it's my job to make sure he never has to carry that weight."

He continued, "It's up to me to make sure he knows he's being raised with love even if we don't live under the same roof ... And it's up to me to let him know that while distance may physically separate us at times, I'm always going to be the man he can depend on to love him and help lead him."

While speaking with PEOPLE about the memoir, Wade shared that his younger son loves to play video games, noting that he is supportive of all of his kids' interests.

"So if Xavier is into Fortnite, then I'm going to try to learn as much about Fortnite as I can to meet him where he's at so we can have conversations about Fortnite, right?" he explained.

Kaavia Wade, 5

Gabrielle Union Instagram
Gabrielle Union Instagram

Kaavia James Wade was born on Nov. 7, 2018, via surrogate.

Before welcoming their daughter, Union revealed that she had struggled for years with infertility and failed IVF treatments in her memoir We're Going to Need More Wine.

"I have had eight or nine miscarriages," Union wrote. "For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I've either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle."

She added that through it all, she and Wade remained "bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we've both dreamed of."

In a 2021 essay for Time, Union opened up more about the couple's decision to turn to surrogacy, admitting that at first, she was against the idea.

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

"I was not ready to do that," she wrote in the piece. "I wanted the experience of being pregnant. To watch my body expand and shift to accommodate this miracle inside me." The Bring It On star also shared that she was prepared to take a drug called Lupron, which would give her a 30% chance of bringing a baby to term, but could potentially harm her own body. However, her husband was able to change her mind.

"As much as we want this baby, I want you," she recalled Wade telling her. "We've lost too much in our relationship for me to be okay with encouraging you to do one more thing to your body and your soul."

In May 2020, Union released a children's book, Welcome to the Party, inspired by the couple's daughter Kaavia and their blended family.

"I wanted to create a love letter to my daughter to let her know that even though her entry into our family was a bit non-traditional, we love her and wanted her," Union told PEOPLE. "And she is celebrated."

Kaavia James Union Wade/instagram
Kaavia James Union Wade/instagram

These days, 5-year-old Kaavia is well-known online for her meme-able facial expressions, which have earned her the nickname "Shady Baby."

"She looks just like Dad, but I'd like to think the attitude is from me," Union told PEOPLE in 2019. "She will stare into your soul and tell you about yourself through her eyes."

Union followed up the success of her first children's book by collaborating on another one with her husband titled Shady Baby. Speaking about the book, Union and Wade explained how Kaavia's nickname first came about. "Since she was born, you could always tell what she was thinking just by looking at her," they explained in a press release. "Thus, her Shady Baby persona was born!"

In November 2023, Wade and Union threw Kaavia a princess-themed birthday party to celebrate their daughter turning 5. The little girl changed her outfit not once but three times — dressing up as her favorite Disney characters Belle, Tiana and Ariel.

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