Dwyane Wade's ex-wife is fighting a legal petition to allow their daughter to change her gender and name, claiming the child is being pressured financially to make this monumental decision.
According to legal documents, obtained by The Blast, former NBA star Dwyane Wade's ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, filed an objection to his petition for recognition of their daughter Zaya's change of gender and issuance of a new birth certificate. As you know, Wade's daughter is transgender and is asking to legally be identified as a female. The issue is that she is only 15 years old, and must get a court order and permission from her parents to make the change.
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To start, Siohvaughn claims her famous ex-husband is "attempting to circumvent the requirements of the Illinois final custody order judgment entered on March 14, 2011. Siohvaughn says the former couple's final custody order provides parental consultation and that Dwyane "shall discuss with and obtain input in the major decisions affecting care, welfare, activities, health, education and religious upbringing" of their two children prior to any major decisions being made.
Shockingly, Siohvaughn -- who is represented by celebrity attorney Mark Gross -- claims, "There are multiple factors to be considered by the Court in determining the requests to change the minor child's name and gender. The minor child is fifteen and one-half years old." Adding, Dwyane "is positioned to profit from the minor child's name and gender change with various companies through contacts and marketing opportunities including but not limited to deals with Disney."
Dwyane's ex-wife is straight up saying the child might be influenced by an opportunity for the NBA star to make money if the gender change is completed.
"This matter has been highly reported in the media and there will likely be media pressure on the minor child," she writes.
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Siohvaughn clarified her position claiming it was Dwyane who told her directly that money was partially behind the decision. She writes, "I have concerns that (Dwyane) may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalize on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies."
She explains, "In April 2022, (Dwyane) invited me to one of his residences in Atlanta, Georgia. During this occasion, he informed me 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. (Dwyane) told me that he intended to make our child very famous due to the name and gender issue and also informed me that there would be endorsements/contracts associated therewith."
Adding, "I inquired what companies had made deals, or was willing to make deals, with (Dwyane) regarding our child. Zion, who was present at the time, answered that various companies were interested and that Disney was a prospective company."
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Obviously, Dwyane's ex-wife is objecting to the gender change and changes to Zaya's birth certificate, asking the court to force them to wait until she's 18 years old to make such an important decision.
Specifically, "(Siohvaughn) contends that the minor child be given the opportunity at the age of majority, which is two and one-half years away, to make this monumental decision for themselves. She has strong concerns that (Dwyane) may be pressuring or incentivizing the minor child with lucrative financial opportunities in order to proceed with this instant Petition."
In the documents, Zaya's mother touches on the subject that she might not fully be on board with an official and legal gender change. Siohvaughn claims she is "concerned that due to the high profile nature of this case if the minor child is not fully in support of the requested relief (and is being pressured by Dwyane or financial opportunities), the minor child will experience further scrutiny and pressure from the media."
As we reported, Dwyane opened up about the situation and reasons behind filing the legal request, saying, "Our (then) 12-year-old came home ... and said, "Hey, 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 and I would love for you guys to call me Zaya."
He added, "We’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self."
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It should be noted, the objection makes an argument that Dwyane has no right to make this decision based on the fact that the ex-couple's custody agreement is in Illinois. The laws regarding this issue are different from state to state, and the Illinois Department of Public health requires "an affidavit from the individual AND a declaration of gender transition to be completed, by either a licensed health care professional or licensed mental health professional to confirm that the individual has either undergone clinically appropriate treatment for gender transition or has an intersex condition."
In the end, Dwyane's ex-wife is asking a court to simply wait until their daughter is 18 years old to make this important decision as an adult. Also, puts it plainly, "I am concerned that our child is being commercialized at a young age and also of the uncontrollable consequences of media exposure i.e. cyberbullying, statements and/or pictures taken out of context of our child, and the unwanted spotlight focused on our child."
A hearing is set for December, where a judge will make the ultimate decision.