Adam Whitelaw was a Shadowhunter and the husband of Marian Whitelaw, the former head of the New York Institute.


Unable to have children of their own, Adam and his wife adopted their niece Rachel and some other orphaned Whitelaw cousins and cared for them as if they were their own children.

In 1989, Adam and the other Whitelaws of the Institute heeded Magnus's call for help and went to Chinatown to defend a pack of werewolves from the Circle. After Robert Lightwood killed Rachel, the baby of the family, Adam and his wife were so furious that they charged at their enemies but were eventually killed in the ensuing battle.