ITHACA, MICH. -- Gratiot County Circuit Judge Timothy Green yesterday canceled a surrogate contract signed by a woman now fighting to keep the twins she bore, ruling that such agreements are not in society's best interest and should not be enforced.

"I think it goes without saying that surrogacy denigrates human dignity," Green said. "Contracts of surrogacy are void as contrary to public policy and therefore are not enforceable." He said custody of the 4 1/2-month-old twins, Stephanie and Anthony, and a girl, would be decided when the case goes to trial.

Laurie Yates, of Ithaca, had sued to negate the contract with the babies' father, Barry Huber, of Jonesboro, Ark., who also sued for custody. The twins are spending equal time with the two families.

Attorney Noel Keane, of Dearborn, Mich., who specializes in arranging surrogate contracts, played down the significance of Green's ruling. "This is one judge in one county who has made a decision on how he feels on surrogate parent arrangements," he said.

The circuit court decision is not binding in the state unless the Michigan Court of Appeals upholds the ruling.

Kathleen Boyle, attorney for Huber and his wife Glinda, said no decision had been made on whether to appeal. The couple declined comment on the ruling.