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Soon, officials called to say the couple failed to meet the conditions for a second child and the permit was withdrawn.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.
Earlier, a couple could have a second child if the husband was living with his wife's family that had only daughters.
According to the amended rules, the wife's family should have only two daughters and no sons.
But Mr Luo's wife has more than two sisters, so the couple were not eligible under the amended rule.
"We found the mistake, so we informed the couple," Mr Zhang was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Mr Luo said his wife's health may suffer if she has an abortion and the officials have not made any mention of compensation.
"I am extremely unhappy they lied to us at first," Shanghai Daily quoted him as saying.
Mr Luo said the couple are still negotiating with the authorities and that if they cannot reach an agreement, they may lodge a lawsuit.
Said Mr Luo: "It was their fault, not ours. The family planning authority should pay all fees and make compensation."
China said recently that it will ease the decades-old family planning policy that has restricted most urban families to having only one child.
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