"What Is In Her Best Interest"

Dwyane Wade continues to advocate for his daughter, Zaya Wade, despite the teen’s mother, Siohvaughn Funches, attempting to stop her from legally changing her name. The retired NBA player recently filed legal documents to rebut his ex-wife’s previous petition to halt proceedings.


Siohvaughn accused Dwyane of exploiting Zaya and essentially forcing the teen to change her name and gender through the courts. Dwyane, however, shared in recent documents that Zaya requested the life changes that he is simply honoring.

“[It] is not about Siohvaughn or Dwyane or their prior marriage, it is about what Zaya wants and what is in her best interest,” Dwyane’s recent petition read. “[It] is about empowering Zaya to live her truth, allowing Zaya to take on the milestones of being a young adult with confidence and joy, and to ensure that those moments are not clouded by the self-doubt that comes from checking a box or signing a name that does not reflect her identity.”

Dwyane Wade initially responded to his ex-wife’s attempts to stop their daughter from legally changing her name and gender a few weeks ago. The celebrity father took to Instagram with his statement after getting wind of his former spouse’s claims of exploitation.

“While I’m on a life-changing trip to our motherland, Africa, 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,” Dwyane told his supporters. “These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children,” he added.

“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 finds ways of centering herself and HER needs without regard to her children,” Dwyane shared.

“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 clarified in his informal response to Siohvaughn’s accusations. “This isn’t a game for my family and definitely not for Zaya,” he added. “This is her life!”

Zaya Wade is one of two children Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches share. Dwyane has four kids in all.

Photo: Getty Images



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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