A woman in southern China got a permit to have a second child.
But after she became pregnant, authorities said she was not eligible to have a second baby.
The reason: An official made a mistake in issuing the certificate, Shanghai Daily reported.
Her husband, known only by his surname Luo, told China National Radio on Friday that they either have to abort the baby, or pay a fine.
The local family planning authority said it would punish the erring official.
The couple from a village in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region said they applied in June and received the permit after government verification.
Under local rules, couples eligible for a second child must wait until they receive a permit.
But Mr Luo was later told that the document had the wrong date on it and it had to be returned to be corrected.
Soon, officials called to say the couple failed to meet the conditions for a second child and the permit was withdrawn.
Mr Zhang Yuying, a village family planning official, told reporters there had been confusion over the conditions, which were amended last year.