Adam John Barton is the son of James and Moira Barton, although it was always assumed that he was the son of James' brother John. He has two half-sisters on his mother's side, Holly and Hannah and three half-brothers on his father's side, Pete, Ross and Finn. He is married to Victoria Sugden.
Towards the end of 2009, Adam's sister Holly started flirting with Aaron Livesy and it looked as though a relationship might have been brewing between them. At first, Adam wasn't keen on the idea but came round, making friends with Aaron. When Aaron suddenly started playing hard to get with Holly, Adam questioned it, but Aaron said it was all part of the plan. When the boys and Holly go on a boys night out, Aaron and Adam were involved in a car crash and Aaron cut his head. As Adam was checking it out, Aaron leaned in for a kiss. Adam was horrified and pulled away, questioning Aaron's sexuality, but Aaron made him think it was all in his head. Not completely convinced, he told Holly after realising that she had slept with Aaron but his parents insisted he dropped it when Holly, refusing to believe Adam, got annoyed with him. Aaron watched jealously as Adam gets closer to Scarlett Nicholls and started dating her.
In April 2010, Adam witnessed Aaron kissing secret boyfriend Jackson and was then positive of his sexuality. He confessed he saw them kissing but told Aaron his sexuality would have no bearing on their friendship and his secret was safe.
Towards the end of 2010, Adam had less and less time for Scarlett, he began ignoring her phone calls and not answering her texts. Adam then devastated Scarlett by kissing Mia Macey on New Years Eve, resulting in Scarlett leaving for a holiday in Canada. Adam began to show more and more interest in Mia, but she played hard to get. Eventually Adam and Mia start going out. Mia's mother Ella Hart is upset that Declan Macey won't pay any attention to her and starts an affair with Adam. Adam tries to end the affair but Ella tells him if he ends it with her he'll have to end it with Mia. Declan finds out about the affair and sacks Adam and claims to make his and his family's life hell and kicks Ella out of his house, he also bans Mia from seeing Adam. A few weeks later Mia and Adam start dating again, unknown to anybody but are soon caught put by Declan. Declan tells Mia about Adam and Ella's affair.
After John and Moira rekindled their relationship Adam, Hannah and Holly booked a weekend away for them. On the way to the hotel the jeep skidded on some black ice on the road leading John and Moira to crash. John died in the hospital with Adam, Hannah, Holly and Moira all watching. A few months later Adam is out to get Cain Dingle as he blames him for his dad's death believing that if he didn't have an affair with his mum that his dad would still be alive. Adam comes looking for Aaron and Cain provokes him leading Adam to fight with him and knocking him to the ground, pouring petrol over the garage holding a blowtorch to him telling him to "say sorry". Cain refuses to say it and tells him if he was going to set the place on fire he would have already done it. Adam throws the blowtorch and watches the place go on fire, he panics after he realises what he has done and runs out, closing the door, locking Cain in the garage. Adam comes back and gets Cain out of the fire. Adam tells Aaron about the fire and Aaron begs Cain not to tell the police. As the investigation about the fire goes on Aaron tells the police that he started the fire in the garage, protecting Adam. Adam wants to own up that he did it but Aaron talks him out of telling the police he started the fire. Adam then helps Aaron run from the police bringing him to the airport where Aaron meets up with his boyfriend Ed Roberts and they go to France together. A few months later Adam goes to France to visit Aaron and Ed. October of that year Adam starts going out with Victoria Sugden.
With Adam and Cain still not seeing eye to eye, Moira goes to London to visit Hannah and Holly leaving Adam and Cain in the house together. Adam throws a house party to try and annoy Cain and sets a bet with Natalie to sleep with Cain. With the party and bet well underway Cain knows what Natalie and Adam are up to and Natalie follows Cain into the bedroom still trying to seduce him, Adam then walks in and a row breaks out between both of them. A drunken Adam continues to provoke Cain and Cain tells Adam about his and Moira's miscarriage, Adam says that he is glad that she had a miscarriage and that the baby had a lucky escape, Cain punches Adam. When Moira arrives home she sides with Cain leading Adam to leave the farm and move in with his girlfriend Victoria. Soon Victoria is getting annoyed with Adam taking advantage and not doing anything and tells him to go back to the farm, Adam refuses to. With Adam then trying to make money so he can pay his way with Victoria he gets into dodgy dealings with Robbie Lawson while he's selling vodka for Debbie Dingle. With Adam and Robbie getting stopped by the police, Robbie says that Adam had nothing to do with the vodka dealing and Adam gets off, he goes home with Victoria and they have an argument. After Robbie comes home from court Adam and him have been drinking all day in the pub. Cain has words with him as he is giving him and Moira dirty looks in the pub. Robbie grabs the keys of Cain's BMW telling him this is how he can get his revenge on Cain. Adam hesitates for a moment then agrees. Adam and Robbie take off to sell the car and on their way a drunken Kerry Wyatt is walking along and they run her over. With Adam about to go back and help her Robbie tells him not to as they'll get arrested. They drive off and Robbie leaves Adam to handle everything as he temporarily leaves the village. Adam hides the car in an old barn leaving Moira finding the car and thinks Cain ran Kerry over. Cain confronts Adam about the hit and run and he helps Adam torch the car. With Victoria sick of Adam's behaviour she then dumps him. Katie Addyman then uses Adam for sex to get back at her ex husband Declan to prove their marriage is over. A few months later, the police find Alex Moss's body on Declan's land. With the police questing everyone they eventually start questing Adam and Moira. With Adam muttering comments as they questing Moira on hers and Alex's affair they begin to question Adam. Cameron Murray later starts hanging around Adam as the police question him on Alex's murder and he provokes Adam to hit Declan on the street in front of the police. They become even more suspicious of Adam. Cameron sets Adam up as he plants one of his gloves near the area where the police are investigating. As the police investigate the farm for further evidence Adam asks Cain to help him run from the police. Cain hesitates but Adam, tells him that if he doesn't help him he'll do it on his own anyways. Adam leaves the country and doesn't make any contact with anyone for weeks. Cameron is finally arrested for the murders of Carl King, Alex Moss and Gennie Walker. Adam comes home. A few months on Adam's cousin Ross Barton causes trouble at the farm with his dealings, a group of thugs beat Adam up, lock Moira up in a van and destroys the farm and the house, taking what Ross owes them. With Adam interested in Katie Ross puts a bet on with him to see who can pull her first, later on that day Adam and Katie sleep together. Ross walks in on them and announces the bet handing Adam the money, Katie is furious and leaves. Adam apologises to Katie about the bet and Katie ends up befriending Vanessa Woodfield and she encourages her to put the bet behind her and to give him a chance seeing as she used him to get back at Declan making them even. Katie then forgives Adam and start they going out.
Adam starts feeling insecure as Vanessa Woodfield winds him up saying that Katie won't stay with him for long along with his cousin's Ross, Pete and Finn. Adam then feels the need to prove himself to Katie, whilst doing that he questions Katie on if she really loves him or whether he is just a laugh to her. Katie makes it clear to Adam that she does love him for who he is and to stop worrying but she just wants to take thing slow. Adam asks Katie if he can move in with her and Katie declines his request. Adam is desperate for somewhere else as it is getting too crowded up at Butler's. Adam moves in with Andy along with Pete. Moira is upset as Adam breaks the news to her. However, after Pete's drug dealer is discovered by Ross Andy doesn't want Pete to move in so Pete gives Ross permission to take his room at Andy's leaving Andy and Adam unimpressed but warms up to the idea after Moira reminds Andy of how her and John stuck by him when he was going through a hard time. A few weeks later Victoria Sugden sleeps with Adam's cousin Ross Barton and Adam gets jealous. As a result of this Adam won't stop talking about it and Katie gets increasingly annoyed at him telling him that Victoria isn't his little sister and to stop worrying about what she does. Adam then feels bad as he genuinely loves Katie, he brings her out for a meal in the poshest restaurant in town to prove to her how much he loves her. Unfortunately things don't go as according to plan as Adam's credit card is declined which leads them to both do a runner from the restaurant. Katie tells Adam it's the best fun she had in ages. The next day their recklessness is exposed as it turns out the restaurant they went to has a contract with Pete, the owner of the restaurant cancels his contract with the Barton's which leads James, Pete and Moira angry at Adam and Katie for their stupidity. With tensions still remaining high between James and Adam, James goes out to buy Adam a present for his birthday thinking he is 21 but to his surprise he finds out he is actually 22, this leads James to question whether Adam is actually his son and not his brother's, John. James questions Moira on this and she tells him that Adam was born two months early and is not. This satisfies him for a while but then he get suspicious once again and steals on of Adam's socks and orders a DNA kit to prove it. James receives the results of the test and it turns out that Adam is James's son and not John's. He confronts Moira telling her she must tell Adam the truth or he will. On the day of Finn's birthday, him and Victoria find some old home videos of Finn and his brothers when they were children and decide to play them at the party, unaware that there is a video that has filmed James and his ex-wife Emma Barton arguing anout how he slept with Moira. They play them at the party which forces both, James and Moira to come clean about their affair. Adam is furious and he punches James and tells Moira exactly what he thinks of her. Later on, Moira chases Cain and tells him that Adam is James is son and Cain forces Moira to tell Adam. Adam is left devastated. However, Adam decodes to go up to Wishing Well Cottage to get Zak's gun. He tells Sam Dingle that Cain had asked him to go and get the gun as there is rabbits in the field, unaware that Adam is actually planning to chase James into the woods with the gun Sam goves it to him. Adam sits and waits for James to come out of The Woolpack so he can get him alone but when Cain finds Adam he tells him that he was never going to hurt him, he was just going to "point the barrel at his head, make him swear, scare him a little". Cain manages to get the gun away from Adam and leaves him with Katie. Katie supports him and spends the whole night trying to talk him down" The next morning Adam wants to quit at the farm but she convinces him to stay and that he can't just walk away from his family business when he has done nothing wrong. Adam comes to work much to Moira's relief but Adam makes it clear that he won't make it easy for her and he doesn't forgive her. The following day Adam and Ross start to have drinks together in the pub, with Ross making comments towards Donna Windsor, whilst both, Adam and Ross make comments towards James about his affair. Ross then gets Adam distract James while he goes down to the cellar to steal some alcohol for both of them. Adam creates a scene to provkwe James, Kati then steps in telling Adam to come back home with her. Adam leaves and meets Ross and he hands him the boozes. Katie then comes out and catches what Adam is up to along with Diane and Donna. James also catches Ross in the cellar, telling Ross to stop using Adam to get back at him, Ross tells him that him and Adam will both ruin his whole life more so now. The next day, Katie asks Andy to talk to Adam, Andy agrees to speak to him. Andy later talks to Adam about his actions from the day before, Adam is annoyed to hear that Katie has told him about the previous days events. Later, a drunk Adam arrives on the farm and James tells him to go home as he is drunk, Adam refuses to go home and gets on the tractor and starts it unaware that Andy is fixing the hay baler on the tractor. Adam starts it and Andy gets his arm stuck in the baler. Adam is shocked to see Andy and him and James run to help him. As Adam is panicking and is feeling terribly guilty, James covers for Adam saying he was the one that started the tractor. At the hospital, Adam confesses it was him who started the tractor. Adam is consumed with guilt after the accident with Andy and he reassures Andy that he will help him with anything he needs, Andy tells him to sort out things between him, Moira and James. The next day, Andy checks himself out of hospital and heads home to be welcomed by Katie, Bernice, Diane, Sarah, Jack and an awkward Adam. Katie soon figures out that Andy checked himself out of hospital and announces it to everyone there, Andy then snaps at Adam sayimg that itss all his fault. Adam then reacts bringing up Andy's past with Jo and all that his family had done for him. An annoyed Adam then leaves followed by Katie who Adam is also annoyed at for not backing him up and for always being on Andy's side. Katie then dumps Adam and Adam informs her that it is okay because he was dumping her anyways. Katie tells Adam that the old him was much nicer and that he deserves to be alone. Andy kicks Adam out of Dale View after Adam attempts to make it up to him. Adam and Leyla Harding start to become close that night. Leyla amd Adam sleep together and Leyla tries to get Adam out of Tug Ghyll before Katie arrives back from a course, Katie arrives back to see Adam and Leyla slept together. Katie is annoyed and then Leyla realises that Adam used her to just get a bed for the night. Leyla takes Adam's trousers and throws them out on the street. Adam then arrives back at Andy's announcing that he is not moving out. Ross tries to get Adam in on a dodgy job but accidently lets it slip that he is the reason why Finn ended up in hospital, Adam blackmails him saying if he doesntt pay his rent he will tell Finn. Ross owns up to Finn and Ross tells Adam that he is now on his own. Adam heads out for a job interviews and his hopes are soon let down as he doesntt get the job, as Katie twlls him she hopes he gets a job Adam think she misses him and wants him back. Later on, Bernice gives Adam money so he can take Katie out into town and she cantt rekindle her romance with Andy. Adam takes the money. When Andy then arrives home with Katie it is clear that to Bernice that thwy are a couple, Bernice throws the dinner and wine she made for her and Andy on Katie and leaves and announces in The Woolpack that Andy and Katie are together, in front of Adam. Adam is annoyed and upset, he leaves and tells Andy that she was coming onto him earlier that day and Katie lashes out at him. The next day Adam arrives home to see Katie leaving Andy's house much to his annoyance. Katie throws some smug remarks at Adam annoying him some more, Andy then asks Adam for the rent money. As Adam meets up with Robbie he helps him come to the idea of selling his Play Station and all his games to earn money. Adam heads to the farm and ends up bumping into Moira, as the pair throw some snide remarks to each other, Adam sees some of Vanessa's medication and takes them. Adam tries to get Pete to go sell them for him and he gives him a telling off, refusing to do it. Later, Adam suggest him and Robbie do the drugs themselves. Adam and Robboe take the drugs, Adam is high and decides to head up to the farm to win Katie back, but Adam the throws up and passes out. The next day, Moira is in the hospital waiting for Adam to wake up, Adam wakes up and she tells Adam they need to talk. Adam then discharges himself so he wontt have to talk to Moira. Moira is annoyed at Adam's efforts to get out of talking to her so she makes a deal with him that if he comes with her she will pay for his next months rent, Adam agrees. Moira brings Adam to the house where Holly went to get drugs. Moira pleads with Adam to not go down the same road Holly did just to hurt her. Adam gets out of the car and makes his way back to Emmerdale, where he meets up in the pub with Robbie Lawson. Moira walks in and is disgusted to see Adam drinking after yesterday's events, she grabs him by the arm threatening to tell the police that he took the ketamine, Adam pushes her off him and Moira trips, after this Adam goes back to the house Holly went to and gets some heroin. Adam goes back to see Robbie amd Robbie is disgusted at Adam for pushing Moira and he pushes Adam, Adam falls and his heroin falls out of his pocket, Robbie tells him to get rid of it making it clear it could kill him if he takes it. Adam heads back to Dale View and contemplates taking the drugs, he is about to ring Holly then decides to ring Moira but he then decides against it. Moira knocks on the door and Adam is happy to see her but she is here to disown his, telling him thar she no longer has a son. Adam is extremely upset by this and once again thinks about taking the drugs. He then pours them down the sinks and rings Aaron to see if he can stay with him,Adam also informs Ross that he wants in on his next big job. Adam tells Andy that he is moving out of thehouse so he doesn't need to worry about his rent or him for much longer. Ross is annoyed at him shouting off that he is coming into money and makes it clear to him to keep his mouth shut. Adam, Donna Windsor and Ross start to prepare for their big job and Adam is shock to discover the dodgy cop that Ross has on hissidee is Donna. The day arrives that they have to do their job and Adam is disturbed by Aaron Livesy who has come back to help Adam and to save him from himself. Adam is annoyed and panics as the man Adam is suppose to be making sure doesntt come back until Donna and Ross is out is getting away. Adam arrives back too late and the nightclub owner is already with Donna and Ross, Adam pushes Aaron out of his way, getting into the car and crashes it into his car to distract the club owner. Donna and Ross manage to get away along with Adam and Aaron. Adam later arrives back to the pub and is looking for Donna, Charity Macey tells Adam that Donna died. Adam immediately blames himself and Aaron unaware to the fact that Donna actually killed herself and villainGary North by jumping off a car park roof top to protect Ross and her daughter, April. Although, Ross knows Donna killed herself because of these reasons, Ross blames Adam for Donna's death. A few weeks later, Adam makes a confession of arson to the police after Aaron prepares to hand himself in. Moira gives Adam his job back at the farm and Adam moves back to Butler's Farm. The day of Adam hearing Moira gives him 20% of everything she owns, Adam is then sentented to nine months in prison. While Adam is in prison, Moira is beimg blackmailed about his safety by Maxine, the motjer to the perso Adam shares a cell with. Adam ends up in hospital as Moira doesn't pay the blackmailer. Moira visits Adam in hospital and he begs her to let Cain sort it out. Cain finds out and he tells Maxine that she is messing with the wrong family, whlie Aaron steals her dogs that she cares strongly about. The next day, Cain ropes in Ross and Aaron to help but it turns out that Cain is left to deal with Maxine on his own. Cain brings Maxine to a shipping container to lock her in but he is interrupted by the arrival of Charity and Debbie. Charity then takes Maxine from Cain and brings Maxine on a death drive, Charity leaves Maxine begging to stop the car, Maxine then agrees to call her son off Adam and leave Moira alone. In Decemeber, Adam is released from prison but is tagged for three months. He tells Victoria Sugden that she was all he thought about in prison and vows he will win her back.
In January, Adam and Victoria eventually get together. Adam sets up a scrapyard with Aaron and with the help of Victoria's brother Robert. After being with Victoria for a few months Adam decides that he wants to marry her. Adam gives Victoria a car for her 21st birthday along with proposing to her. Victoria says yes but she soon calls off the wedding as she felt she was too young. Before Victoria gets the chance to explain this to Adam he storms off upset. He seeks comfort from Vanessa Woodfield how is also broken hearted. The pair spend the night together but after they wake up the next morning they are full with regret and agree to never tell Victoria or Kirin Kotecha. Victoria asks Adam to move in with her, giving him a key leaving him feeling extremely guilty. Vanessa tells Adam she is pregnant and it maybe his baby. Adam agrees to have nothing to do with the baby so him and Vanessa can keep their one night stand underwraps but Vanessa can't deal with the guilt and she decides to take a DNA test to see if the baby is Adam's. Adam and Vanessa are disturbed by Kirin and soon the one night stand is revealed, Kirin makes a scene at Adam and Victoria's moving in party announcing Adam and Vanessa's fling, leaving Victoria devastated. It is revealed the baby is not Adam's baby but Rakesh decidea to take matters into his own hands and takes the results of the DNA results and fixes the results saying the baby is Adam's so Kirin will be rid of Vanessa and will concentrate on his exams. Victoria is angered by this news and she attempts to run Adam over but swerves at the last minute, they argue and Victoria speeds off running over Ashley. Adam helps her through the whole situation and tells her that she shouldn't be with him as he is no good for her, she tells him she wants to be with him and asks him to marry her. Victoria and Adam share the news with close family and friends and they aren't impressed, but they tell them that they will choose each other over them. Victoria and Adam head off to go on a holiday to get away from the village and to get married. In late July 2015, Adam and Victoria return from their honeymoon and focus on their life as a married couple, but it is interrupted by the existence of Adam's unborn child, as it is still believed that Adam is the father. Adam fails to arrive at Vanessa's scan, which angers her and she makes the decision to leave Emmerdale because she does not want Adam involved in the upbringing of Vanessa's baby. In August 2015, Adam considers him and Victoria leaving instead to start a new life, but Victoria thinks Adam is mad thinking of leaving. Adam gets grief from Rhona Goskirk and he gets drunk, rather than attend the wedding of Pete Barton and Debbie Dingle. Adam falls asleep in a car at the scrapyard, but is currently unaware that a fire has been started, which then causes some gas canisters to explode into a helicopter, which then tumbles into crashing through the roof of the Village Hall. Adam wakes up in the car and Robert and Chrissie got him out before the car explosion.
In January 2016, Vanessa takes another DNA test to see if Adam really is the father of Johnny (Vanessa's baby), after she finds a birthmark which the midwife says that it's perfectly normal for a mixed race baby to have. The DNA test reveals that Kirin is actually the father. When Vanessa breaks the news to Adam, he is devastated and attacks Kirin's father after he learns that it was him that switched the DNA results. Vanessa gives Adam some time alone with Johnny, but Adam takes off with him and hides in a hotel. Victoria talks Adam into returning Johnny to Vanessa before it gets serious.
In February 2016, after learning that Aaron had been repeatedly raped at the hands of his father when he was younger, Adam is livid and offers to help Cain deal with Aaron's dad. After Aaron returns from giving evidence at the police station he hugs him and apologises for not being there for him.
In April 2016, Adam supports Aaron through the court case where Gordon is found guilty and sent to prison. A few weeks later, Adam celebrates with the rest of the family when Aaron gets his deed poll letter officially declaring him as a Dingle.
In September 2016, Adam was heartbroken by the sudden loss of his sister Holly, who died from a heroin overdose. He and Victoria moved back to Butlers to support Moira. On the day of the funeral, Adam was angry and upset that his sister Hannah was unable to attend and comforted Moira as they said their final goodbyes to Holly. The following week, Adam was left fearful when Aaron fought for his life following a motorway collision and was devastated when James died as a result of the same accident. On the day of James' funeral, Adam tried to put a brave face on everything, insisting to Moira that he has already buried his dad. However, when Ashley interrupts the service Adam gets upset and asks Laurel to take her husband out, saying he's ruining his dad's funeral. Adam is surprised to learn that James has left him an equal share in his will much to Ross' displeasure. They clash over the issue and Adam admits he wasn't going to take it but changes his mind and decides to accept it. Adam fights with Ross after he learns that he tried it on with Victoria. Vic tries to break them up but ends up getting hurt. She is taken to the hospital where she tells a shocked Adam she might be pregnant. The test comes back negative but Vic confides in Finn that she wants a baby and she's not sure how Adam feels. Later at Butlers, Vic tells Adam she wants a baby and Adam concedes that if thats what she wants then they will start trying. The next day, Adam confides to Aaron his doubts about starting a family after his experience with Johnny but Aaron assures him he's already proven he'll be a great dad and to go for it. Later, Ross apologises to Vic and Adam for his earlier behaviour and they call a truce. Adam tells Moira that he and Vic are trying to start a family and she is delighted.
In February 2017, Adam helps the Sugdens and the Dingles organise Robert and Aaron's impromptu wedding. The next day, Adam is gutted when his best friend is sent to prison for 12 months on a GBH charge. Adam strikes up a friendship with Ronnie Hale and offers to help him with repairs on The Mill. After months of trying to get pregnant, Diane pays for Adam and Vic to get fertility tests done. Adam is devastated when he learns he is infertile. A few days later, Adam decides to end his marriage to Victoria, convinced it is for the best and leaving her heartbroken. Adam makes a pass at Vanessa; they share a kiss before coming to their senses and Adam leaves. After deciding to give things with Victoria another go, the couple start looking into adoption. However, after Emma spitefully tells Vic what happened between Adam and Vanessa, Victoria ends their relationship for good.