TWO toddlers could be taken from their parents if their mainland mother, an illegal immigrant, loses two crucial court battles and is sent back to China. In a cruel twist of fate, three-year-old Yeung Wing-kwan and her two-year-old sister, Yeung Wing-po, currently in temporary care, may find themselves the innocent victims of immigration red tape. Their mother, Ms Chan Heung-mui, will make a third and final court attempt next month to be allowed to stay in Hongkong. But she faces an even more important fight in two weeks when a court will decide whether she will be given her children back. The father is not deemed fit to rear the girls. The toddlers were taken into temporary Social Welfare Department care after Ms Chan's last court attempt to remain in Hongkong failed, and in desperation she threatened to kill herself and her children if her next attempt to stay in the territory did notsucceed. Ms Chan was sent to a mental hospital, Castle Peak, for 18 days. She says she was not serious about the death threat and was merely trying to help her case. ''I was just bluffing,'' she said. ''If I had really wanted to die, I would have had 1,000 chances to kill myself. ''But I didn't because I don't want to die. I just want to mobilise them and see if they are really willing to help me. ''Even if I fail the third time, I have decided never to kill myself because it will upset a lot of people - my father-in-law, my lawyers and even the Government, which has spent so much money on my appeals. ''It would be disgraceful for me to commit suicide when so many people are supporting me.'' The courtroom dramas are the concluding acts in Ms Chan's heartbreaking story, which began in 1989 when she was forced to marry her Hongkong husband by her stepfather so he could receive money to pay off his debts. If she had been given a choice, Ms Chan would never have married a Hongkong man. She already had a boyfriend in China, but had to tell him to forget her. She signed away her life and sacrificed her happiness for the sake of her family, marrying a man she barely knew. Far from getting a better life in Hongkong, Ms Chan could end up sacrificing more than she feared. During four years of marriage, Ms Chan claimed she was subjected to occasional abuse and neglect by her husband. The couple were married within a month of their meeting. ''I didn't want to. I wanted to escape but it was impossible. Because my stepfather owed a lot of money, and we had debt-collectors at our door, I thought I could sacrifice myself for the family. ''I was naive and stupid because I listened to what my family told me to do. I married him for my family . . . to save my mother and brother. ''When I first arrived I asked my husband to behave responsibly and properly. I spent two years trying to steer him back on the right course. But he had failed me. He left home many times, but I wanted him back.'' Ms Chan and her husband have since reconciled. She won the unprecedented sympathy of three Appeal Court Justices in March when they said she should have been allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds, but that reluctantly they had to send her back to China. According to a psychiatric report, Ms Chan suffers depression but is deemed fit to take care of her children. She said she owed much to United Democrat chairman Mr Martin Lee Chu-ming, who represented her in the failed appeal in March. ''Chairman Martin Lee never stopped arguing on my behalf,'' she said. ''Although I don't understand why it failed again, I know he has tried his best.'' Ms Chan's third appeal has been scheduled for June. She said she was prepared for the worst, but added: ''I can't leave my daughters behind. They are my only hope now. I am willing to do everything just to be with them.''