Adam was born in Dinant, a municipality in the Belgian province of Namur, on 14 December 1892 as one of six children born to Hector Adam and Anna Bribosia. She grew up near Leffe Abbey, and wanted to go to university to study law, but women seldom went to university in the 1910s.
As a young adult, Adam worked as a shorthand typist at her father’s law firm. She married industrialist Jean-Baptiste Vandermersch on 8 December 1924 in Dinant and had two children, a son and a daughter. A year after their marriage, the couple relocated to Brussels Region, settling in Anderlecht and later in Jette.
Adam’s husband was traumatised by World War II. He died in 1980 aged 87, and Adam moved into a Jette nursing home later that year. Throughout her life, she was a devout Christian, and enjoyed listening to classical music. She also had a passion for opera, as she had once taken singing lessons with Belgian opera singer Catherine Beau.
As a supercentenarian, Adam’s motto was “Flemish, Walloon or Brussels resident, those are just first names. Belgian is our family name“. She died on 8 October 2003 at the age of 110 years, 298 days. Louis Marion, two days shy of 110 himself, became Belgium’s oldest living person.