According to court documents obtained by E! News Nov. 30, the NBA star's response, filed in Los Angeles, stated that granting his petition would be in the 15-year-old's best interest and that Siohvaughn Funches-Wade's objection does not consider it.
"This petition is not about Siohvaughn or Dwyane or their prior marriage," the filing states. "It is about what Zaya wants and what is in her best interest. This petition is about empowering Zaya to live her truth. This petition is about 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."
In her Nov. 1 objection to Dwyane's petition, which was filed in August, Siohvaughn mentioned the NBA star's "high-profile status" and noted how he "has appeared on national television shows and in media reports regarding our child's name and gender change."
She wrote, "I am concerned that our child is being commercialized at a young age" and 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 and will receive based upon [Dwyane's] statements to me, on the basis of our child's name and/or gender change."
In his response to her objection, Dwyane states that "Siohvaughn argues that the petition should be denied because she alleges, without evidence, that Dwyane, one of the most accomplished players in NBA history, is pressuring Zaya to proceed with this petition for his financial gain. Siohvaughn's allegations are libelous at their core, and are, at best, nonsensical. Dwyane filed this Petition because Zaya asked him to."
E! News has reached out to Siohvaughn's attorney for comment and has not heard back.
Dwyane's recent legal response also states that he has the authority to make final decisions about the teen because he has had sole custody of her since 2011. Zaya lives with him and wife Gabrielle Union in California.
In his filing, the NBA star notes how his and Siohvaughn's custody agreement stipulates that he "discuss and obtain input" from his ex about "major decisions" affecting Zaya's care prior to making them and states that in April, he sought his ex's input on the matter of the name and gender change before filing his petition.
"As set forth herein, granting the Petition is in Zaya's best interest," the filing states. "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."