The effects of α-linolenic acid (ALA) on developmental competence of oocytes in goats were evaluated in this study. Initially, the level of ALA in small and large antral follicles was determined to be in a range of 0.018–0.028 mg/ml (64.6–100.6 μM, respectively). In vitro maturation was performed in the presence of various concentrations (10, 50, 100, or 200 μM) of ALA. Cumulus expansion, meiotic maturation, levels of intracellular glutathione (GSH), embryonic cleavage, blastocyst formation following parthenogenetic activation (PA) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), number of total and apoptotic cells in blastocyst, and expression of Bax, Bcl-2, and p53 genes in blastocyst cells were determined. Compared with the control, no improvement was observed in cumulus expansion in ALA-treated groups. At 50 μM concentration, ALA increased meiotic maturation rate but had no effect on GSH level. When oocytes treated with 50 μM ALA were subsequently used for PA or IVF, a higher rate of blastocyst formation was observed, and these embryos had a higher total cell number and a lower apoptotic cell number. Expression analyses of genes in blastocysts revealed lesser transcript abundances for Bax gene, and higher transcript abundances for Bcl-2 gene in 50 μM ALA group. Expression of p53 gene was also less observed in ALA-treated blastocysts. Our results show that ALA treatment at 50 μM during in vitro maturation (IVM) had a beneficial effect on maturation of goat oocytes and this, in turn, stimulated embryonic development and regulated apoptotic gene expression.