Charles C. Adams, Jr. was born on August 25, 1947 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, one of six children of Charles C. Adams, a career Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, and Florence Adams, née Schneider, of Brooklyn, New York.
He was raised in the countries of his father’s various diplomatic assignments, including Canada, France, Germany, Morocco, Senegal and Ghana, and in suburban Washington, D.C. during postings at home. His schooling while abroad was in the French system, notably at the Lycée Français in Saarbrücken and the Lycée Lyautey in Casablanca, prior to Dartmouth College (B.A., 1968) and the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1973). He served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya from 1968-70.
He is married to Vera Risteski-Adams, a lawyer of Serbian/Macedonian origin. They have one daughter born in 2002. He also has a son, born in 1983, from a previous marriage.