Parents conclude that middle child is wholly expendable    

A prudent couple from Kent has concluded that their middle child should be discarded, perhaps in a forest, a maze or an abandoned warehouse. The judgement follows a deep dive review of household finances and a cost-benefit analysis of their individual offspring. Ian and Kate Jones are part of a growing wave of UK families opting to reject a child - who is no longer deemed economically viable - based on an aggregate measure of maternal and paternal love.

"Optimal allocation of parental resources across our children has been central to the decision," said father Ian, outside the family home yesterday. "We were really pleased with our first daughter Bethany. She is beautiful and bright. But then Mark came along with his weird ears and behavioural problems. Fortunately, we bounced back with our youngest child Sarah. She could spell 'onomatopoeia' by her third birthday. This is why we are sending Mark to live among wolves."

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