He was born at Wittenheim in Alsace and educated in the seminaries of the Holy Ghost Fathers. He arrived in Gabon on 29 September 1929, and spent the next 18 years as a missionary in the Haut-Ogooué Province. During that time he prepared grammars for the Mbédé, Ndumu, and Duma languages.
In 1947, Adam was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Libreville and bishop of the titular see of Rhinocorura; he became bishop of Libreville when it was elevated to a diocese in 1955, and he was made archbishop of the see in 1958. He retired in 1969 and moved to Franceville, where he died in 1981.