Samuel C. Totaro, Jr. was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Kendall Shoyer, Orphans’ Court of Philadelphia County.
Samuel C. Totaro, Jr. is best known for his accomplishments in the field of adoption law and related adoption litigation. He has participated in over 4,000 adoptions of children, representing adoptive parents, birth parents and adoption agencies. Mr. Totaro was lead counsel in Gibbs v. Ernst, in which the PA Supreme Court established the right of adoptive parents to be compensated for failure of adoption agencies to fully disclose all relevant and material information in their possession to the adoptive parents prior to adoption. This case has been cited by over 20 Supreme Courts in other states as controlling law.
In addition, Mr. Totaro has appeared as a guest on Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Phil Donahue Show, Court TV, the Sally Jesse Raphael Show, and the NBC Evening News, as well as local television and radio shows.
Mr. Totaro has been a recipient of Distinguished Service Awards from the National Council on Adoption, Washington, D.C. and the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys; recipient of the U.S. Congressional Angel in Adoption Award (2005); recipient of the Mark E. Goldberg Community Service Award by the Bucks County Bar Association (2004), and was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters through a peer-review process, as published annually in Philadelphia Magazine. Mr. Totaro was appointed by Governor Tom Ridge to the Committee to revise Pennsylvania’s Adoption Code. Mr. Totaro was awarded the Ursinus Alumni Service to Humanity award in 2019.
Mr. Totaro held the offices of Past Treasurer and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Bucks County Bar Foundation, Past Director of the Bucks County Bar Association, Past President of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, and former member of President Ronald Regan’s Special White House Task Force on Adoption. In addition, he served as Advisor to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law during the drafting of the Uniform Adoption Act, and on the Bucks County Chapter of American Inn of Court.
Charitable, Community and Civic Involvement
Mr. Totaro is Chairman Emeritus of the Silver Springs-Martin Luther School board (a private residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed and challenged children). He is an elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Buckingham, PA.