Middlemen who profit from surrogate births risk up to five years in prison and $50,000 in fines under a law that makes Michigan the first state to attach criminal sanctions to pregnancy-for-pay deals.

Gov. James Blanchard on Monday signed into law a bill that makes arranging such deals a felony beginning Sept. 1. Advertising or otherwise "inducing" a woman to become a surrogate also will be a felony."It's a major victory," said Jeremy Rifkin, co-chair of the National Coalition Against Surrogacy.

"Michigan will be leading the way with this legislation," said state Sen. Connie Binsfeld, leader of a five-year drive to outlaw surrogacy.

"I believe the Legislature and the governor have carried out a very strong moral obligation to protect children from becoming commodities under commercial contracts," said the Republican senator.